Paris air traffic back to normal after strike

11th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 11 (AFP) - Air traffic in and out of Paris slowly returned to normal Friday after an air controllers' strike that forced hundreds of passengers to spend the night at Charles de Gaulle airport, officials said.

PARIS, March 11 (AFP) - Air traffic in and out of Paris slowly returned to normal Friday after an air controllers' strike that forced hundreds of passengers to spend the night at Charles de Gaulle airport, officials said.

The stranded passengers were unable to find hotel rooms after their flights were cancelled because of the strike against the privatisation of the state-owned airport operator Aeroports de Paris. An Air France spokesman said the situation would return to normal on Friday afternoon.

"We are laying on bigger planes than those initially scheduled to absorb our passengers from Thursday," the spokesman told AFP. "We hope to absorb all our passengers through the morning."

Airport officials reported one-hour delays on arrivals and departures at Charles de Gaulle, due in part to poor weather conditions across Europe, while at Orly, delays were described as "not very significant".

The air traffic controllers' strike coincided with nationwide actions that brought the capital's metro and bus system to a standstill, closed classrooms and government offices, and saw a mass demonstration by tens of thousands pressing the government to maintain the 35-hour work week and other benefits.

Most of the approximately 150 departing flights that were cancelled at Charles de Gaulle were to medium-haul destinations, airport sources said. Another 90 arriving flights were cancelled.

At Paris's other main airport, Orly, cancellations were somewhat lower and fewer passengers were stranded because many live in the Paris area.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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