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Travel chaos and flight delays in Paris as airport workers’ protest escalates

Travel chaos and flight delays in Paris as airport workers’ protest escalates
Hundreds of passengers miss flights

Travel chaos has erupted in Paris after an airport workers’ protest caused hundreds of passengers to miss their flights.

Disgruntled employees protesting pay cuts at Charles de Gaulle airport blocked the 2E terminal’s passport control area, resulting in severe delays.

The terminal is largely used for international travel.

Protesters also locked horns with riot police, who dispensed pepper spray into the crowd.

Passengers were witnessed wiping their eyes while children appeared “frightened”, according to an Associated Press reporter on the scene.

Travellers have temporarily been diverted to another of the airport’s terminals.

Unions announced that strikes were planned this weekend, from 2 July until the end of Monday.

The move was in response to pay cuts imposed by Paris airport management during the pandemic.

According to management of the Paris airport network, revenue dropped by 80 per cent in 2020, and it was decided that reducing employees’ pay would be preferable to axing staff.

The aviation industry has been battered as a result of travel bans and restrictions put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus over the last 18 months.

Figures from Iata, the airline body, show that 2020 was the worst year on record for aviation. Full-year global passenger traffic fell by 65.9 per cent compared to 2019, “by far the sharpest traffic decline in aviation history”.

According to FlightRadar24 statistics, the number of planes in the air around the world has been rising incrementally since the middle of February, as countries begin to exit lockdown.

Additional reporting by agencies