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France strike causes travel disruption

A national strike by French workers on Thursday (March 22) is set to disrupt flights and public transport around the country.

Unions representing air traffic controllers in France are among those scheduled to take industrial action in protest over proposed labour law changes by French president Emmanuel Macron. Rail unions are also set to join the national strike on the same day with SNCF warning about "disturbances" to services on Thursday.

ATC workers are due to walk out from 18.00 UK time on Wednesday (March 21) until 05.00 on Friday (March 23).

French civil aviation authorities have already issued instructions for airlines to reduce flights to and from French airports during this strike period. This includes a 30 per cent reduction in flights at Paris Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports, as well as Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes and Toulouse.

Air France said in a statement: “Last minute delays and cancellations can be expected. We already expect to operate all our long-haul flights, and our short and medium-haul flights schedule is being updated.”

British Airways has also warned passengers about disruption and added that it will be offering a  "more flexible" rebooking policy for the strike period.

"Yet again this will unfortunately bring another wave of unnecessary disruption for some customers travelling in Europe," said BA in a travel advisory note.

"We are sorry that your flight could face disruption, which is beyond our control, and we recognise that you may not wish to travel as a result.

"We have therefore introduced a more flexible rebooking policy to help customers travel on alternative dates and avoid the strike action."

Easyjet added in a statement: "We expect that there will be delays and cancellations due to the industrial action, therefore we advise all customers to check the status of their flight on our flight tracker."

Ryanair said it had already cancelled some flights due to the strike in France and added that "further flight delays and cancellations are likely".

Air France is also facing a separate strike by staff on Friday (March 23) but added: “It remains too early to ascertain the effects this strike might have on our flights.” 

Rail services in France will also be affected a series of rolling strikes from April to June which are set to cause disruption on more than 30 days over the next three months.

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