Scottish Daily Mail

Air and rail strikes set to cause chaos for visitors to France

- From Peter Allen in Paris

VISITORS to France will face travel chaos next week as air traffic controller­s join rail workers in a nationwide strike. SNCTA and Unsa-ICNA, the two biggest air traffic control unions, will start the six- day strike next Tuesday – and the industrial action will last until Sunday, June 29.

Thousands of flights are set to be cancelled just as the summer holiday season gets i nto full swing.

Union representa­tives warned of ‘heavy disruption to all flights’ and tourists hoping to take alternativ­e rail routes will face further delays thanks to a ten- day rail protest.

French retail workers are also set to strike in protest at the government’s decision to introduce Sunday opening hours to boost tourism.

This will mean that Paris department stores including Galeries

‘Heavy disruption to all flights’

Lafayette and Printemps will be closed for those who do make it across the Channel.

More than 60 per cent of France’s 4,000 air traffic controller­s have voted in favour of the protest against aviation cuts.

They said that the controvers­ial measures, which will come into force between 2015 and 2019, will lead to a cheaper, less efficient system and will end up threatenin­g ‘modernisat­ion’.

But Francois Hollande’s Socialist government insists that the cuts are necessary to comply with European Commission plans to reduce air navigation costs.

The number of expected cancellati­ons next week could be as high as 50 per cent, although there are fears that even this is a conservati­ve estimate. Tourists have been told to expect long delays at every French airport, as the entire air system will be affected by the walk-outs.

EasyJet and Ryanair are preparing contingenc­y plans.

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