Hundreds of flights grounded as French air traffic strike hits Europe

  • More than a quarter of flights across France's busiest airports were canceled on Wednesday following a second day of protests over plans for a single European airspace.

    Air traffic controllers believe the plans will affect public safety and working conditions.

    Airlines outside France also suffered with Britain’s budget carriers Ryanair and EasyJet cancelling nearly 400 flights on Wednesday alone. Around 1,800 flights were canceled between France and the UK on Tuesday.

    The two-day strike was called by the European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF), which aims to "stop a never ending process of liberalization, deregulation and cost-cutting in the Air Traffic Management (ATM) industry".

    According to the European Commission, the manner in which Europe's air traffic is managed adds 26 miles to the average flight resulting in planes using more fuel and generating more emissions.

    The system also causes delays and costs airlines and customers around $7.3 billion every year.

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