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Air traffic controllers strike in Portugal

Published on 17/05/2012

A partial strike by air traffic controllers severely disrupted flights to and from Portugal on Thursday, the airports authority ANA said.

Just over 200 flights were likely to be disrupted during the three periods of two-hour stoppages being observed by strikers, ANA said.

“Two hundred and one flights were expected at all Portuguese airports and companies have had to modify their departure and arrival times or put their passengers on other flights,” ANA spokesman Rui Oliveira told AFP.

“There may be cancelled flights, but nobody will have to stay on the ground,” he added. He gave no details of how many flights were affected during the initial two-hour strike period from 8:00 am (0600 GMT).

Portuguese news agency Lusa said the strike forced the cancellation of at least 20 flights and delayed more than 100 others, particularly those arriving and departing Lisbon.

The strike is set to continue with stoppages over similar periods on Friday. The strikes began in April and resumed last week. A total of 311 scheduled flights are likely to be affected, Oliveira said.

Air traffic controllers are protesting at the restructuring of services and budget reductions in the recession-wracked country.