European air traffic controllers call off Oct. 10 strike

FRANKFURT Fri Oct 4, 2013 10:30am EDT

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FRANKFURT Oct 4 (Reuters) - The air traffic controllers union in Europe (ATCEUC) has called off a strike planned for Oct. 10 after the European Commission signalled its willingness to renegotiate plans to liberalise civil airspace.

The union has said it opposed the commission's plans to set "unrealistic" targets for air traffic management by 2019 because the goals seek a tenfold increase in flight safety while cutting costs by 50 percent.

The ATCEUC, which represents 14,000 air traffic controllers in Europe, said in a statement on Friday that it would renew its plans for industrial action if talks failed to address its concerns.

"ATCEUC will not be satisfied just with signs of good will and nice words. We expect clear outcomes and results," it said.

A strike would risk disrupting travel across Europe and could hit leading airlines such as Deutsche Lufthansa, Air France and British Airways.

ATCEUC represents air traffic controllers in 26 countries including Italy, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

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