Hundreds of flights across Europe canceled due to strike by air traffic controllers

Hundreds of flights across Europe canceled due to air traffic controllers' strike

The largest budget airline European airline Ryanair has canceled 420 of its flights across the continent due to the start of a 24-hour strike by air traffic controllers. Rival carrier EasyJetwarned of major delays and disruptions.

Members of the French National Syndicate of Air Traffic Controllers — SNCTA, the country's main traffic controller union, went on strike at 6 am CET last Friday. Numerous schedule disruptions continued on Monday.

The union said it was announcing the action after talks with the government to raise wages in line with inflation stalled.

French aviation authorities have warned that the strike could affect up to 50 percent of flights.

Paris Aéroport, which owns and operates 14 civilian airports and airfields in the Paris area, warned on Thursday to expect “significant” delays and cancellations of both arrivals and departures.

Many flights passing over French airspace were also affected. The Barcelona airport departure board showed more than 50 planes delayed or canceled Friday afternoon. In Germany, Hamburg Airport reported that 48 of 251 flights had been canceled by noon local time, with further “surprises” possible.

Earlier last week, France's Directorate General of Civil Aviation warned that up to 50 percent of the country's flights, and urged passengers to contact airlines and postpone travel in advance.

SNCTA said the strike, which began on September 28, could be continued.

On Monday, September 19 , disruptions were also predicted as London Heathrow Airport said some departures and arrivals would be canceled or delayed to keep airspace quiet during Queen Elizabeth II funeral events.

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