Air traffic controllers’ strike in France cancels 40% of flights

PARIS – French air traffic controllers went on strike Wednesday, prompting the cancellation of 40 per cent of flights across the country.

The powerful SNCTA union called the two-day strike in a quarrel over working and retirement conditions, saying in a statement that “disruption is expected over the whole country.”

France’s civil aviation agency has called for the cancellation of 50 per cent of flights Thursday.

It said part of the dispute involves conditions for raising the retirement age for controllers from 67 to 69 years.

France’s main airline, Air France, said long-haul flights would not be affected, and guaranteed some 60 per cent of medium-haul flights from and to Paris’ main airport, Charles de Gaulle.

Air France said it would ground two out of three flights at Paris’ second-largest airport, Orly.

Passengers are advised to contact their airline for more information.

Further strikes are planned April 16-18 and April 29-May 2, coinciding with spring school holidays in France.

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