Hundreds of flights in France have been cancelled because of a strike by pilots. The four day action began at midnight and affects Air France, as well as a handful of other smaller companies.
The national carrier says 40 percent of flights have so far been affected; the unions say it’s more like 80 percent.
Geoffroy Bouvet from the Alpa pilots’ union said:
“We have gone on strike because the members of parliament decided one midnight to change the law about the age of retirement for pilots, with no negotiations and no ideas about what could happen for employment in our profession.”
Thousands of passengers have had their travel plans disrupted, and there are warnings it’s going to be a weekend of chaos.
One traveller said: “We woke up at five, for an Air France flight at seven o’clock, which was cancelled just as we were boarding the plane. The pilot hadn’t shown up. So we were put on another flight, but with no guarantee there’ll be a pilot. So we’re waiting.”
The pilots are angry that the age limit on flying has been increased from 60 to 65. But Air France maintains pilots can still choose to retire at 60.