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More French flights cancelled Wednesday, air traffic strike ends Thursday

A board shows cancelled flights at Nice International airport on Tuesday
A board shows cancelled flights at Nice International airport on Tuesday Reuters/Eric Gaillard

Nearly 2,000 flights in and out of France are expected to be cancelled on Wednesday on the second day of an air traffic controllers’ strike. But the idustrial action will end on Thursday because the French and German governments have called on the European Commission to drop privatisation proposals from its "single sky" plan.

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France's civil aviation authority, the DGAC, predicted the same number of cancellations on Wednesday as on Tuesday, when 1,800 flights were scrapped.

One controllers' union, the SNCTA, which called a three-day strike starting Tuesday, was joined by several others on Wednesday as part of a Europe-wide day of action in protest at "liberalisation" measures that are part of the European Commission's Single European Sky plan.

But the SNCTA called off its planned action on Thursday after French Transport Minister Frédéric Cuvillier and his German counterpart Peter Ramsauer wrote to the commission, expressing "reservations" about the plan.

"France does not support the new European Commission plan," Cuvillier said.

Predictions for Wednesday were:

  • Air France maintained its promise to run all its long-haul flights;
  • Low-cost Ryanair said it had cancelled 244 flights;
  • Paris Charles de Gaulle scrapped 38 per cent of flights;
  • Paris Orly was asked to see cancel 50 per cent by the DGAC;
  • Nice scrapped 50 out of 173 of departures and 49 of 172 arrivals;
  • Nantes Atlantique scrapped 32 out of 119 flights;
  • Montpellier cancelled all flights and other airports could see disruption.

As the air traffic controllers' strike ends, a one-day strike on French railways is set to start on Wednesday evening and end on Friday morning.

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