French air traffic strike called off

Strike cancelled after government steps in



The damaging strike by French air traffic controllers which had caused widespread disruption to flights in Europe has ended. Unions confirmed that the industrial action against budget cuts had been called off.

The strike had been expected to continue until Sunday. But the Unsa-ICNA union, which initially launched the protest, said the strike had been called off after the government recognised the “importance of investment in the sector”, the BBC said.

The disruption had worsened on Wednesday afternoon when Belgian air traffic controllers said they would be joining the strike. This led to a two-hour closure of Belgium’s airspace.

Meanwhile, flights to and from destinations in France, Spain and Portugal were delayed or cancelled, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

As previously reported, French air traffic controllers staged the strike to protest against planned budget cuts they said would harm air traffic control services in France.

Among many other critics of the strike, the Association of European Airlines strongly condemned “this unjustified industrial action which holds the entire industry to ransom during one of the busiest passenger traffic weeks of the year.”

RTE / BBC / AFP / TTG Digital

[pictured: Flight departure screen at airport train station, Paris, France]

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