National strike leads to flight cancellations in France

A nation-wide strike by air traffic controllers in France yesterday led to delayed and cancelled flights to and from the country. The strike included France's main air traffic control unions and comes as the latest in a string of walkouts that had led to flight chaos this year.

The action comes as the 10th strike in the past three months by French air traffic controllers.

Ryanair cancelled more than 50 flights and warned of further delays and cancellations while British Airways and EasyJet were also forced to suspend French services like other airlines.

Air France planned to operate all flights, saying that the French civil aviation authority had instructed all airlines not to change their flight schedules.

However the flag carrier warned that last minute delays and cancellations could be expected.

Passengers have been advised of possible disruption of travel to airports by public transport.

BA said, ''Unfortunately we will have to cancel some flights as a result of the strike action and other short-haul flights may also experience some disruption, given how many flights would normally use French airspace each day.??

''We will be using larger aircraft, where possible, to help affected customers and are doing all we can to reduce the levels of disruption.''

The action over pay and working conditions had been condemned by Ryanair which urged the government to intervene.

The Irish carrier had been forced to cancel 56 flights to and from France after the 51st strike by ATC unions since 2009.

Easyjet said, ''We would like to inform customers that there will be a French national strike on Thursday. This will have an impact on our flights to and from French airports, as well as those flying in French airspace.

''As the strike will affect all French airports we have taken the decision to proactively cancel a number of flights, allowing customers to re-organise their journeys.''