French air controllers strike over EU aviation initiative | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 10.10.2013
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French air controllers strike over EU aviation initiative

France has been hit by another strike by air traffic controllers protesting a European Union plan to centralize the continent's airspace. Airlines have been advised to cancel a tenth of the day's flights.

Thursday's strike by French air traffic controllers had been called by two smaller unions in protest over an EU initiative to centralize control of European airspace. The work stoppage forced several airlines to cancel scores of short-haul flights.

Carriers had been asked to cancel 10 percent of the day's flights within France and to Spain, Portugal and North Africa.

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Low-cost carrier Ryanair was reported to have cancelled close to 90 flights right away, with Germany's flagship airline, Lufthansa, also partly affected by the strike action which was limited as the biggest union, USAC-CGT did not join in.

Clash of opinions

Thursday's strike was the second since June by air traffic controllers protesting the EU's so-called "Single Sky" initiative.

Brussels said centralizing the continent's airspace would reduce congestion and inefficiencies costing airlines and passengers an estimated five billion euros ($6.6 billion) annually.

But many employees feared the planned reform could easily lead to more difficult working conditions and job cuts.

hg/hc (dpa, AFP)

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