Hundreds of flights cancelled despite French air traffic controllers calling off strike

Hundreds of flights were cancelled at French airports Thursday despite the country's main air traffic controllers' union dropping a call for a one-day strike after making a deal for higher pay.

In Paris around 75 percent of flights at Orly and 55 percent at Charles de Gaulle airport will be dropped Thursday, the DGAC civil aviation authority told airlines in a notification seen by AFP on Wednesday.

Around 65 percent of services at Marseille airport and 45 percent elsewhere in France will also be cancelled, it added. The impact is expected to be similar to the cancellations expected when the strike was still going ahead.

Earlier Wednesday, the SNCTA union walked back a strike call, saying it had struck a deal for higher pay and other measures with the DGAC.

The union's demands had come in response to a planned overhaul of French air-traffic control systems.

The DGAC said that despite the strike's cancellation, the last-minute deal with the SNCTA and the need to finalise details with smaller unions meant there would still be disruptions.

It was unclear whether the two smaller unions which had also backed strike action would follow suit and call off the stoppage.

'Totally unacceptable'

With details unclear, European carriers complained of extensive disturbances to air travel -- even for flights that had planned to simply fly over France.


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