Send in French army for air controller strike: Ryanair

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Budget airline Ryanair on Wednesday called on the French government to send in the army to ensure airports stay open during any future strikes by air traffic controllers.

The call by the Irish carrier came as an air traffic control strike disrupted holiday departures across France with one in 10 flights cancelled from Paris' main international airport Charles de Gaulle.

Ryanair said in a statement that the government should "intervene in future strikes to ensure that France's airports remain open for business, if necessary by calling out the French military to operate air traffic control."

"This happens in many other European countries when strikes disrupt air transport and it should happen in France as well so that innocent air passengers are not ... held to ransom by transport workers," it said.

Spanish authorities said Tuesday they may deploy the military to replace Barcelona air traffic controllers on sick leave, in a bid to curb flight delays and undermine what they suspect is an undercover strike.

Unions representing French air traffic controllers called the strike to protest against plans to merge France's 4,000 controllers and 8,000 other aviation personnel into a European-wide system.

© 2010 AFP

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