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Hundreds stranded by French air traffic controllers' strike

Spanish low-cost airline Vueling has been hit by the strike
Spanish low-cost airline Vueling has been hit by the strike flyfan.fte2.org

Several hundred passengers were stranded at Paris’s Orly airport on Wednesday due to an air traffic controllers’ strike. But the aviation authority predicted that 95 per cent of flights would take off on Thursday.

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While traffic was reported to be running smoothly at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, at least 250 passengers, mostly booked onto flights with low-cost airline Vueling to Spain and Portugal, were stuck at Orly airport on Wednesday morning.

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At least 30 flights in or out of Lisbon, Oporto and Faro airports were cancelled with Portuguese airline Tap putting passengers up in local hotels overnight.

The French aviation authority asked companies to cancel 20 per cent of flights in the south of France, southern Europe and north Africa but the move did not prevent some delays and last-minute cancellations.

The authority claimed that only 9.46 per cent of controllers were on strike on Tuesday and predicted that the action was already running out of steam, predicting a “real improvement” on Thursday with 95 per cent of flights operating.

The strike was due to last until Monday but representatives of the union that called it were to attend a meeting at the transport ministry on Wednesday afternoon meaning that it could end earlier.

The industrial action was called to protest at allegedly insufficient finance allowed to air traffic control in a performance plan France has to submit to the European Union before next Monday.
 

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