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Julian Bray provides: Opinion, comment, forward thinking speculation on Travel, Cruise & Aviation: conflict zones, terrorist impact, drone (UAV) issues, safety (black boxes, emergencies), airline operations, aviation finance, political implications, and all forms of incident risk. Worked at board level with several airline and aviation groups, including Alitalia, British Island Airways, British Airways, Galileo , British Aerospace, Skyways, former CEO City firm Leadenhall Assoc. Founder CNS City News Service. Director NTN Television News (joint co. with ITV Wales TWW) Debretts People 2017 and in launch edition of PRWeek Black Book.

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Friday, 3 June 2016

FRENCH AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS TARGET UK FOOTBALL FANS TRAVELLING TO EURO 2016 AND SPAIN





SNCF's €50billion ($56.04 billion) debt to be tackled says Government..


Ryanair cancelled 75 flights on Thursday when French air traffic controllers went on a planned four day walk-out strike, part of a long running dispute previously flagged up by this blog and designed to cause maximum chaos for thousands of UK fans travelling to Euro 2016.


According to an insider the airline expects to cancel hundreds more over the next few days, and then has along with many other airlines, the problem of dozens of aircraft being physically out of position, or simply parked up until it is safe, in a week or so, to again negotiate French air space. In addition severe flooding in Paris and environs has seen all other forms of transport disrupted and hotels flooded.


Ryanair says this is the 50th strike by the French since 2009 and the 9th in this latest series of planned walk-outs over the past 10 weeks.


The airline's chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, said: 'This latest strike action by the French ATC unions and is a clear escalation of their attempts to cause as much disruption as possible.


'And not only will European consumers - heading off in huge numbers - on their summer holidays be affected, football fans from all over the continent face massive disruption as they get ready for the European Championships, which begin next week.

'It is also important to note that the tourism sectors in Italy and Spain are continuing to be hit hard by these strikes, with thousands of flights to both destinations cancelled in the past few weeks alone.

'This means hotel beds lie empty and restaurants remain half-full due to tourists being unable to fly over France to get there.'


Transport Minister Alain Vidalies said all unions other than the CGT had called off the air traffic control strike and said the government hoped to avert disruption ahead of Euro 2016. 


 
To add to the misery, French train services were cancelled by 50% for a second day after railways workers walked out, causing transport chaos across France.
Mr Vidalies however reported traffic was normal on the Paris Metro (Underground).  

If that wasn't enough CGT-led stoppages have been disrupting refineries, oil and petrol distribution and targeting nuclear power plants. The heart of the dispute is to force the Socialist government to axe labour law reform making hiring and firing that much easier.

Six out of 10 high-speed TGV train connections were operating but other inter-city links were cut by two thirds, reported state-owned SNCF railway company, unionised by the powerful  CGT union, one of France's two largest unions, meanwhile a smaller union was expected to call off its participation in the strike after securing government assurances of help with the SNCF's €50billion ($56.04 billion) debt.

CGT demands were rejected by President Francois Hollande, that he scrap a bill, the union says will undermine labour protection, giving companies freedom  to negotiate in-house deals on pay and conditions. 

Sources: AFP, Daily Mail, CNS, PA, RMT





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