Strike hits French airports, half of flights cancelled

French air traffic controllers walked off the job at the start of a three-day strike on Tuesday, grounding hundreds of flights across the country in a Europe-wide protest against European Union plans to liberalise civil airspace.

One in two flights to airports serving Paris, Lyon, Nice, Marseille, Toulouse and Bordeaux were cancelled, France’s DGAC civil aviation authority said.

Workers are concerned EU plans for a ‘Single European Sky’ will adversely affect their working conditions.

Marseille airport, in the south of France, said on its website that it was less afffected than others, with a third of flights scrapped, or about one hundred. More than 70 flights were cancelled out of Nice airport.

The strike is part of a wider European action that, outside France, mainly involves a go-slow.

Britain’s easyJet has said it was cancelling 10-11 daily flights to Toulouse on both Tuesday and Wednesday and would publish its schedule for Thursday on Wednesday.

Air France said it was cancelling an unspecified number of short- and medium-haul flights.

Preparations for the maiden flight of Europe’s newest passenger jet, the Airbus A350, were also affected by fallout from the strike, French transport sources said on Monday.