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Controllers’ strike cancels flights in Portugal

A strike by air traffic controllers against cost-cutting reforms forced about 20 flights to be cancelled at Lisbon airport on Wednesday, officials said.

The cancelled flights included services between Lisbon and airports in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France and northern Europe, the airport operator ANA said.

Controllers called the strike as part of a protest in several European countries against planned EU air traffic reforms which they fear threaten their jobs.

The strike would cause “long delays throughout the day,” warned Carlos Vladrez, a spokesman for air traffic controllers of the national airspace operator NAV.

National airline TAP Portugal said it had rescheduled about 50 flights to try and avoid cancellations but delays were still expected.