France faces more protests as pension strikes see planes and trains cancelled

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France faces more protests as pension strikes see planes and trains cancelled
More demos are planned for Saturday against the proposed pension reforms. Photo by Bertrand GUAY / AFP

Trains and planes are cancelled and a fresh wave of demos are planned for the weekend as fury grows in France over the decision of Emmanuel Macron's government to push through controversial pension reform without a parliamentary vote.


Several unions have announced strike extensions including rail workers and air traffic controllers, leading to places and trains being cancelled over the weekend and on Monday.

The French civil aviation authority has ordered that 30 percent of flights in and out of Paris Orly airport and 20 percent of flights in and out of Marseille airport be cancelled on Monday as air traffic controllers extend their strike. 

Weekend flights have also seen cancellations. Other airports should be unaffected by cancellations, but there may be knock-on effects and delays for airline passengers, while flights travelling over French airspace may be re-routed. Anyone who has a flight booked is advised to check with their airline.


Details of any cancellations for flights on Tuesday and Wednesday will be released on Monday, while Thursday, March 23rd, marks the next one-day mass strike, so disruption is likely.

Rail workers have also announced an extension of their strike, so train services will again be disrupted over the weekend - 4 in 5 of the normal high-speed TGV services will run, 3 in 5 Intercité services and 3 in 5 of the normal services on the local TER network.

Trains will likely be disrupted during the one-day strike on Thursday, March 23rd, but some unions are calling to continue rolling strikes, so it's likely that the rail network will see at least some disruption through the week.

Public transport in cities including Paris is running largely as normal over the weekend, with a slightly reduced service on the RER suburban train network.

Demonstrations are planned for towns and cities across France on Saturday - these are expected to be large with the possibility of trouble flaring towards the end of the demos (from around 5pm).

Smaller spontaneous demonstrations were held in multiple cities on Thursday and Friday after the announcement that the pension reform bill was being pushed through without a parliamentary vote - around 300 arrests were made in total and in some areas protesters set fire to street furniture and vandalised public buildings.

In pictures: Barricades set on fire as pension reform protests turn violent


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