Industrial action by French air traffic controllers caused chaos across western Europe on Saturday (29 July).
GV Orly Airport terminal (Paris)
GV Control tower (2 shots)
GV Passengers arriving at airport and in terminal lounges (7 shots)
GV Passengers boarding aircraft
GV Aircraft on tarmac
SV Passengers stranded at Gatwick Airport (London) (3 shots)
SV passengers resting in airport lounge (3 shots)
GV Passengers camping outside terminal (2 shots)
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Background: Industrial action by French air traffic controllers caused chaos across western Europe on Saturday (29 July). Tempers frayed at airport in a dozen countries as thousands were stranded for hours at a time by delayed flights.
SYNOPSIS: France is at the centre of the air traffic network which controls flights between north Europe and the Mediterranean resorts. The country's four main air control centres have been disrupted by the controllers' 'go-slow'. The men, demanding better pay and conditions, have taken their action at a time when holiday traffic in Western Europe is at its highest. They said their action would last until Monday (31 July) at least.
At Orly Airport in Paris, officials said some flights were being delayed up to two hours with services to Spain, Portugal and West Africa worst affected.
In London, officials estimated that more than 100,000 travellers had been caught up in delays at British airports. Special emergency measures to help deal with the situation, including additional seats and catering facilities, were introduced. At gatwick, London's second main airport, and which handles many of the holiday charters to Europe, passengers were waiting up to six hours for their flights.
Fifteen thousand travellers were being delayed at Gatwick at any one time and some even camped in tents on lawns outside the main terminal building. Adding to the congestion, there were nearly 2,000 people queuing for tickets on the cut-rate 'Skytrain' service to New York.