Published on Tuesday, January 26, 2016
A strike by French air traffic controllers is set to cause widespread disruption today as airlines have been forced to cancel hundreds of flights.
Ryanair has cancelled dozens of services from UK airports, not only to France but also to Spain, Morocco and Portugal. Most of the flights were due to operate from Stansted, but services from Edinburgh, Luton, East Midlands, Bristol, Gatwick, Liverpool and Birmingham have also been affected.
EasyJet has cancelled 35 flights, mainly within France but also to or from Switzerland, Italy and Spain.
British Airways said that a small number of flights had been cancelled and warned customers that there were likely to be delays across the strike period, which started at 7pm yesterday and will run till 6am on Wednesday.
France's civil aviation authority has asked airlines to cut their flights by 20% during the strike.
Air France said it would operate all of its long-haul flights and more than 80& of its short- and medium-haul flights in France and elsewhere in Europe, but that 'last-minute delays or cancellations cannot be ruled out'.
The strike by ATC coincides with a strike by French taxi drivers who have set up barricades at airports and major cities across France, promoting Air France to warn passengers that access to Paris's Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports, as well as those of Toulouse, Marseille and Bordeaux, could be 'greatly disrupted'.
Ryanair, which claims the ATC strike is the 40th since 2009, is asking passenges to sign an online petition calling for strikes by air traffic controllers to be banned or for other ATCs to be allowed to manage French airspace during strikes.
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