A strike started by French air traffic controllers last night is expected to cause widespread problems to air traffic bound for Spain and the Balearics today. The flash strike, which finishes tomorrow morning at 7.30 had already led to the cancellation of some 130 flights between Spain and France last night and will disrupt flights from the United Kingdom and Northern Europe bound for Spanish destinations through French airspace. Much of the traffic bound for the Balearics has to pass through Marseilles air traffic control and their annual strike always plays havoc with Balearic flights to and from north, central and eastern Europe. While air traffic is however at a minimum today at Palma airport, authorities are braced for delays this afternoon. Sources for the Spanish airport authority AENA, said last night that the strike will lead to a reduction of air traffic over France by 50 per cent. All passengers flying between Spain and France today are advised to check with their airline or travel agents before heading to the airport and if possible, postpone travelling until after the strike. Iberia, for example, announced last night that it has cancelled 36 flights planned for today. The strike was called by at least two trade unions and was due to run from last night through today, in sympathy with planned mass street marches by railway workers and other state employees over privatisation and fears for public services.

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