Strike in France worsen, half of Air France long flights hit
PARIS - Agence France-Presse
French police stand guard as aviation workers demonstrate at the Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Roissy, near Paris on Feb 6. REUTERS photoA strike by French aviation workers was set to intensify yesterday with Air France saying it might fly only half of its long-haul flights.
Flight disruptions were limited on Feb. 6, the first day of a four-day action against restrictions on the right to strike, but there were a number of last-minute cancellations and delays.
At Paris’ Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports, officials said airlines had preventively cancelled 10
percent of flights scheduled for Feb. 6.
An AFP reporter at Charles de Gaulle, a global aviation hub, said a number of flights were also cancelled at the last minute, including Air France flights to Geneva, Hamburg, Naples, Istanbul and Rio.
Budget airline easyJet also cancelled five morning departures.
The leading French carrier said it managed to fly 85 percent of its long-haul flights and 75 percent of short- and medium-haul flights on Feb. 6.
“As staff are not obliged to inform in advance of their intention to strike, and to limit disruption caused by last-minute cancellations, Air France expects to operate over 50 percent of long-haul flights,” as of yesterday it said in a statement.
It added that it expected to fly 70 percent of short and medium-haul flights yesterday, including those operated by its regional subsidiaries.
Air France urged customers to postpone their travel to after the strike finishes, and sent out more than 25,000 emails and mobile phone text messages to clients warning them their flight had been cancelled or delayed.
Regional airports were also hit by delays and cancellations.