French strike hits EU flights but third day of action is called off

Marion Dakers
PASSENGERS across Europe endured a second day of delays and cancellations yesterday, but have been spared further chaos after French air traffic controllers called off a third day of strike action.

EasyJet and Ryanair were forced to scrap hundreds of flights between them, while other carriers including British Airways were caught up in knock-on disruption.

French authorities estimated that up to half of all flights were axed yesterday.

Thousands of routes to and from major French airports were affected by the industrial action, which was called in response to the European Union’s plan to centrally regulate airspace across the continent.

Air traffic controllers have complained that the plan will cost jobs.

The so-called single sky plan aims to save up to €5bn (£4.25bn) a year by resolving “inefficiencies in Europe’s fragmented airspace”, the European Commission said earlier this week.

“It puts safety in the European sky only as a second priority, in favour of the economic aspects,” Riccardo Rubini, from the European Transport Workers’ Federation, said.