French airports battle aviation strike

AP News
Posted: Feb 06, 2012 2:50 PM
French airports battle aviation strike

Air France and other airlines sought to limit the damage from a strike Monday by aviation industry workers _ a walkout prompted by rules that would limit the impact of future strikes.

Paris aviation officials canceled or rescheduled at least 100 flights in advance as 200 flag-waving protesters marched from terminal to terminal at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport, watched by riot police.

Unions representing pilots, cabin and ground crews called the strike through to Thursday to protest a bill in Parliament that would require air transport workers to give 48 hours notice before striking.

French flagship carrier Air France said 85 percent of its long-haul flights and 75 percent of its mid-range flights went ahead as usual Monday, with the others canceled.

Some airlines were caught off-guard by workers who didn't announce earlier that they'd be on strike. Paris airport authority ADP said low-cost carrier easyJet had to cancel five flights Monday after employees didn't show.

For Tuesday, Air France forecast it would guarantee at least 50 percent of long-haul flights and 70 percent of short- and medium-range flights.

The Air France statement suggested frustration with the current rules, noting that last-minute changes may await because "personnel is not required to warn ahead of time of their intention" to strike.