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Air chaos threatens to spread in Europe

AIRLINE passengers across Europe were today braced for further flight chaos this week as a result of striking French air traffic controllers.

Ryanair cancelled more than 230 flights today, including 12 in and out of Ireland, while Aer Lingus cancelled four flights.

It's also feared that the strike action will spread this week and affect passengers planning on flying to Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Slovakia.

AA Ireland warned today that passengers may face flight cancellations or delays until 6am on Friday.

PROTESTING

The striking workers are protesting at a European plan to overhaul their industry, forcing France's main airports to halve their flights.

As well as affecting flights directly in and out of France, the action grounded services entering the country's airspace.

Ryanair cancelled separate flights from Dublin to the Spanish cities of Murcia and Girona today, and also the flights from Dublin to La Rochelle and Paris Beauvais. The flights going in the opposite directions were also called off.

Passengers intending to take the Ryanair flights from Cork to Malaga and Palma were also left disappointed, as were those going the other way.

Ryanair spokesman Robin Kiely hit out at the striking workers who he said are "overpaid". "These public servants are among the most overpaid and protected in Europe and yet they repeatedly opt for the strike weapon as a first, rather than a last resort," he added.

comurphy@herald.ie


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