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the french disconnection

Hundreds more flights have been cancelled across Europe today

Strikes by air traffic controllers around the country are causing major problems.

HUNDREDS OF FLIGHTS were cancelled and delays reported at airports around France today as a strike by air traffic controllers entered its second day.

The civil aviation authority asked airlines to scrap around half of their flights to avoid chaos.

That was a little more than yesterday when the advance move proved successful as airports were not mobbed by angry passengers, who had been warned and made other plans.

The strike has been called by the main air traffic union SNCTA, which wants to negotiate over the working conditions of its members.

France Air Traffic Strike Travellers waiting at the Marseille Provence airport yesterday AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

A particular bone of contention is the pushing back of the retirement age for air traffic controllers from 57 to 59.

Further industrial action is planned from April 16 to 18 and from April 29 to May 2, key holiday periods.

Flag carrier Air France said it was operating one in four flights to and from the Paris airport of Orly, around 40 percent to and from cities in the rest of the country and one in two medium-haul flights to and from the main capital airport of Charles-de-Gaulle.

The airline said long-haul flights were not affected today.

Low-cost operator EasyJet, meanwhile, said it had cancelled more than 220 flights, a little more than the previous day.

France Air Strike A deserted airport in Nice yesterday Lionel Cironneau / PA Wires Lionel Cironneau / PA Wires / PA Wires

And its rival Ryanair fumed, saying it had been forced to scrap more than 500 flights altogether.

“We again call on the EU and French authorities to act now and prevent thousands of travellers being held to ransom by these French ATC (air traffic control) workers,” the Irish airline said in a statement.

Roger Rousseau, SNCTA union head, insists that the strike was not prompted by a spur-of-the-moment, angry decision.

“Since 2013, we’ve been taken for a ride meeting after meeting,” he said earlier this week.

The SNCTA had originally called the strike from March 25 to 27 but scrapped it after the Germanwings crash in the French Alps that killed 150.

- © AFP, 2015

Read: Hundreds of flights have been cancelled across Europe (and it will be worse tomorrow)

Also: It’s probably a bad idea to fly to France tomorrow

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