Air traffic strike snarls France, gets tepid response elsewhere in protest of EU measure

PARIS – A strike by air traffic controllers is snarling flights around France, as workers protest a plan to simplify Europe’s patchwork airspace and open up more air traffic duties to private enterprise.

About 1,800 flights were cancelled for a second day in France — about half the normal number of flights, according to the French authority that tracks airport conditions. In Britain, delays were primarily related to the French strike — easyJet cancelled 66 flights going to France or passing through its airspace.

The umbrella union for air traffic controllers said 11 countries would take part, but the significant job action appeared limited to France.

Air traffic controllers say they fear threats to passenger safety and to their jobs and claim the EU is yielding to industry pressure to cut costs.