Hundreds of flights cancelled amid French air traffic control strike

EUROPEAN  airlines say hundreds of flights were delayed or cancelled on Thursday (today) because of a strike by air traffic controllers in France.

Airlines Easyjet, Ryanair, British Airways and Aer Lingus each reported numerous flights cancelled because of the strike, which is likely to have a negative impact on  thousands of passengers, as more than 300 flights said to cancelled, as airlines in Europe reduced their offering by 15 per cent, according to lobby group Airlines for Europe (A4E).

The strike, which is expected to last for 35 hours, is the latest of several walk-outs this year by French air traffic controllers in protest at France’s controversial labour reforms passed in July in an effort to jumpstart the country’s flagging economy, drawing criticism from A4E lobbyists representing several airlines affected by the strike.

“The demands of increasingly mobile European citizens and businesses cannot be taken hostage by localized industrial action. It is about time to minimize the impact of these strike actions,” A4E chief  Thomas Reynaert said, also criticizing a lack in measures from European authorities to prevent such strikes.

Europe has already seen several strikes this year by air traffic controllers in Italy, Belgium, Greece and France, leading to thousands of cancelled and delayed flights.