French airports face major disruption

October 18, 2010 12:00 am

, PARIS, Oct 18 – Half of all flights to and from Paris Orly airport and 30 percent of flights at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle and other French airports will be cancelled Tuesday due to strikes, aviation officials said.

The civil aviation authority DGAC said it had ordered airlines to reduce their traffic after unions called the day of strikes, with the airport stoppage set to last 24 hours.

Charles de Gaulle, one of Europe\’s biggest hubs, was already seeing disruption on Monday because some staff responsible for fuelling aircraft were on strike, an airport spokesman said.

"There are delays and some cancellations," the spokesman told AFP.

Last week strikes shut down most of France\’s oil refineries, causing the fuel pipelines to Charles de Gaulle and Orly to be cut off on Friday and Saturday.

The government on Monday activated an emergency government crisis cell charged with maintaining fuel supplies.

Tuesday will be the sixth day of coordinated nationwide protests in two months against a government reform that will raise the retirement age from 60 to 62.

Elsewhere in the transport sector, an ongoing strike by rail workers continued to disrupt rail travel on Monday with one in two high-speed national trains running, the SNCF state rail company said in a statement.


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