Flight delays in Paris and cancellations at other French airports were expected Thursday as air-traffic unions launched a strike to protest against reform measures proposed by the European Union.
To reduce the chance of flight disruptions, a 20 percent reduction in flights to and from Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Paris Orly and Beauvais airports had been requested by the Director-General of Civil Aviation.
“The situation is calm at Orly. There are delays of 20 to 40 minutes on some flights but no additional cancellations yet. The 20 percent reduction in flights has been observed by the airlines," an airport source told AFP.
The source said 455 flights were expected Thursday at Orly, a reduction from the 590 normally scheduled. At Roissy, some 1,400 flights will proceed of the 1,120 usually scheduled.
“At airports in Paris, Aix (en Provence), Bordeaux and Brest, delays ranging from 30 to 60 minutes are expected, but improvements are expected later in Bordeaux and Brest," the civil aviation chief said.
At CDG, where nearly 30 percent of the morning teams were striking, delays were not exceeding half an hour.
Air-traffic controllers were not, however, reporting for duty in Colmar, Quimper, Rouen or Figari (in Corsica), where no flights are able to take off or land, civil aviation authorities said.
The strike action was launched to oppose the European Commission’s "Single Sky" initiative, which is aimed at lessening congestion in European airspace and accommodating expected increases in traffic by allowing planes to fly more direct routes across the continent.
France is set to join Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg to create a regional authority, the Functional Airspace Block Europe Central.
But the proposal has come under fire from unions that are worried about the consequences of the plan, including its effect on jobs and submitting the supervision of French airspace to European authorities.
For the latest news on flight delays, check the Paris Airports website (in English) by clicking here.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
Date created : 2014-01-30