FRANKFURT/PARIS Jan 30 Travellers faced a day
of disruption on Thursday as air traffic controllers in France
and across Europe went on strike over cost cuts and pan-European
France's DGAC authority asked airlines operating services to
and from the three Paris-region airports - Charles de Gaulle,
Orly and Beauvais - to reduce flights by about 20 percent
because of the strike, which runs until 0500 GMT on Friday.
The French strike is part of a day of action called by the
European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF) to protest against
safety and savings targets planned by the European Commission.
Slovakian and Italian air traffic controllers are also
striking for short periods during the day, while their
colleagues in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Portugal,
Bulgaria and Greece will take measures such as performing only
basic contracted duties.
To minimise disruption from such strikes, airlines usually
shift the times of some flights and use different routes.
Air France said it would work to accommodate all
long-haul flights but warned of disruption to short-haul
services. Lufthansa and easyJet cancelled a
small number of flights.
The French traffic controllers striking on Thursday are
represented by the USAC-CGT, SPAC-CFDT and SNNA-FO unions.
Controllers represented by the SNCTA had called off a strike
planned for this week after receiving assurances that the
government would oppose the EC's plans.