Page last updated at 09:58 GMT, Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Strike hits flights from Paris airports

Planes at Charles de Gaulle airport
A quarter of flights from Charles de Gaulle airport have been cancelled

Flights have been cancelled at the two main Paris airports as French air traffic controllers begin a five-day strike over job loss fears.

Half of the flights in and out of Orly airport have been cancelled, while one in four from Charles de Gaulle have also been pulled from the schedules.

Staff are protesting over a deal agreed by six nations to modernise air traffic control that they say will cut jobs.

The strike is taking place during a school holiday in France.

Analysts said union leaders were also hoping to put pressure on President Nicolas Sarkozy's government ahead of regional elections next month.

The deal to modernise air traffic control was recently signed by France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Under the plans, the six nations will increasingly integrate their air traffic control services.

Air France says that none of its long-haul flights have been affected.

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