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Strikes cause flight cancellations

31 January 2014 09:51

Air traffic control staff in Europe are on strike

Air traffic control staff in Europe are on strike

Flights to and from France are the latest to be affected by strike action being taken by European air traffic control staff.

Passengers will be checking their travel insurance policies to see if they are covered for compensation after flights passing through French airspace were also cancelled.

A wide range of different travel insurance policies with additional add-ons can be taken out to suit the varying needs of different travellers. These can range from medical travel insurance, winter sports travel insurance, family travel insurance and backpacker and gap year travel insurance.

Budget airlines are due to be the most affected by the walkouts. Ryanair announced the cancellation of around 80 flights while easyJet called off 26.

British Airways has been hit less hard by the strikes. It announced that only two pairs of flights to Paris Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports had been cancelled in addition to eight previous cancellations on flights to Italy.

French aviation authorities requested that airlines cut their flights to Paris by 20% after air traffic controllers in France joined those already on strike in nine other countries.

Workers are striking against European Commission plans to reduce the cost of air traffic control services by half and standardise air traffic management as part of the Single European Sky initiative.

With a heavy concentration of European flights, Ryanair warned its customers of widespread difficulties due to the effect on flights passing through French airspace.

Walkouts have also been staged in Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Malta. Unions claim that the cost-cutting plans will cause redundancies on a large scale.

The strikes are not currently expected to affect British airspace but some staff from Nats, the air traffic control service, have made plans to demonstrate outside the European Commission's London office.