French air traffic controllers start three-day strike | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 11.06.2013
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French air traffic controllers start three-day strike

French aviation workers have started a three-day strike to protest the streamlining of traffic flows in European airspace. Airports in five cities were affected by the industrial action, but there was no big chaos.

The first leg of the strike on Tuesday saw about 1,800 flights cancelled, the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) reported.

The action by air traffic controllers hit Paris' Charles de Gaulle and Orly hubs as well as airports in Nice, Lyon, Marseille and Toulouse. Airlines were asked to reduce their flights by 50 percent, the DGAC added.

Long-haul flights, however, were hardly affected by the strike, with the nation's biggest carrier, Air France, saying it had cancelled only short and mid-range tours.

Back to normalcy on Friday

Germany's flagship airline, Lufthansa announced it struck 174 of its flights Tuesday, while the country's second-largest carrier, Air Berlin, indicated its Paris and Nice routes had not been affected by the work stoppage at all.

Air traffic controllers said they were protesting the planned restructuring of Europe's airspace control system under the "Single European Sky" program, adding they feared the scheme would lead to more difficult working conditions and job cuts.

Reuters news agency maintained the strike had hindered preparations for the maiden flight of Airbus' new A350 ahead of the Paris Aviation Show on June 17.

hg/dr (dpa, Reuters)