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Half of French flights to be cancelled in European air traffic controllers' strike

Air France planes at Roissy/Charles de Gaulle airport
Air France planes at Roissy/Charles de Gaulle airport Reuters/Charles Platiau

Up to 50 per cent of flights from French airports are likely to be cancelled this week due to a strike by air traffic controllers opposed to a European Commission proposal to open the sector to competition.

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France’s civil aviation authority has asked airlines to scrap half their flights on 11, 12 and 13 June from Paris’s Charles de Gaulle, Orly and Beauvais airports, as well as Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Toulouse and Bordeaux.

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The strike starts on Tuesday and continues on Wednesday and Thursday.

The authority advises passengers to check with their airline to see of their flight will take off.

Several unions in France have called on air traffic controllers to join a Europe-wide protest against the European Commission’s plan to liberalise their sector.

Unions claim it is an attack on its status as a public service and will have a negative effect on safety by opening up parts of air traffic management to competition.

A 26-year-old Italian died aboard an Air France flight to Paris from the Dominican Republic on Sunday.

He was taken ill in the plane's toilet several hours after take-off, sources say.

His body was taked to a forensic medicine institute where an autopsy was to be carried out.

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