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French Strikes Cause Travel Disruptions But Airlines Operate Most Paris Flights

Nationwide one-day strikes by public transport workers and air traffic controllers are affecting travel to and from France on Tuesday but airlines are trying to maintain most of their flights to and from Paris

The New York Times reports. The newspaper quotes a spokesman for Aéroports de Paris – which operates both main Paris airports, Roissy-Charles de Gaulle and Orly – as saying their terminals are calm and less crowded than on a typical day. French authorities asked airlines over the weekend to cut their flight schedules to Charles de Gaulle by 30 percent and to Orly by 50 percent on October 19 in preparation for the strikes. However, Air France said Tuesday it was operating all of its intercontinental flights from Charles de Gaulle, as well as about 80 percent of its domestic and intra-European flights from Charles De Gaulle and about 50 percent from Orly.

Other countries' airlines had already canceled hundreds of their flights to France in advance of the October 19 strike, one of a continuing series of nationwide actions involving hundreds of thousands of workers protesting against France's plans to cut pensions and raise the retirement age. Ryanair, Europe's largest low-cost airline, canceled some 200 flights to and from France in advance of the Tuesday strike, reports UK newspaper The Telegraph. Meanwhile, airlines operating short-haul flights to France were told to carry enough fuel for their return journeys, because strikes at 12 of the country's oil refineries have produced a shortage of jet fuel at France's airports. About a quarter of France's gas stations have also run dry of gasoline.

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