French aviation strike disrupts flights across Europe | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 21.03.2016
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French aviation strike disrupts flights across Europe

Up to a third of all flights to and from French airports were canceled on Monday, as air traffic controllers entered a second day of strikes against staff and spending cuts, but also against a lack of investment.

The French Civil Aviation Authority called for airlines to cancel more flights on Monday, following a weekend of disrupted flight schedules due to an air traffic control staff walkout.

Unsa, France's third largest union for air traffic controllers, said it coordinated the walkout in protest against a cap on recruitment, and a lack of investment in the new computer systems used by controllers.

Europe wide disruption

The strike has disrupted hundreds of flights throughout Europe, with Paris' Orly airport particularly hard hit: 33 percent of all flights arriving and departing from the airport were impacted by the strike action on Monday morning.

The walkout also disrupted general air traffic over France, meaning flights that neither take off nor land at a French airport were also affected.

Ryanair calls for action

Budget airline Ryanair reported that it had already canceled 200 flights on Monday, while Easyjet said it had cancelled 96, including flights to and from Berlin.

Ryanair deplored what it said was the 41st strike by French air traffic controllers since 2009 and has called upon the French government and European Commission to take action against the strike.

Flights across Europe are expected to be disrupted until 5 a.m. Central European Time on Tuesday morning, after which air traffic controllers are scheduled to return to work.

AFP/dpa (hch, hg)

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