Air France cancels flights as 5-day strike hits

By REUTERS
October 29, 2011 14:42

 
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PARIS - Air France canceled about one in five flights and warned of wider disruption as a five-day strike by flight attendants over employment terms began on Saturday, in the middle of a busy holiday weekend.

In a statement posted on its website, the carrier said that it had canceled 10 long-haul flights to destinations such as New York, Tokyo, Montreal, Abu Dhabi as well as cities in West Africa. Discontent among travelers appeared to have been limited by advance warnings that reduced the number of people turning up to find themselves stranded at airports.

A spokeswoman for the airline said that it was, as planned, ensuring 80 percent of some 1,000 daily flights, short- and long-haul, at the two major Paris airports, Orly and Charles de Gaulle.

"We do not rule out other last-minute cancellations and delays," the website advisory on www.airfrance.fr said.

Several unions are urging cabin staff to strike until the end of Wednesday, raising the prospect of serious disruption during what is a busy travel period. One of their grievances is a plan to reduce staffing on long-haul trips.

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