Hundreds of Cyprus flights affected due to Greek air controllers' protest

01:00, July 27, 2010      

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Some 400 flights between Cyprus and European destinations have been either delayed or even cancelled due to the work-to-rule protest by Greek air traffic controllers since Sunday.

Hermes Airports, which operates the island state's Larnaca and Paphos airports, said on Monday that most of the flights suffered a delay ranging from 45 minutes to a few hours.

Air traffic controllers in Greece launched a work-to-rule protest on Sunday, after their plans to stage rolling 24-hour strikes had been ruled by a Greek court as illegal.

Their demands include better wages and the recruitment of more staff, which counter the austerity measures introduced by the Greek government.

Cyprus Airways had to cancel two dozen of its flights on Sunday and Monday after Greek air traffic controllers strictly limit on the number of aircraft allowed into Greek air space.

As foreign commercial planes may choose to fly over Turkish air space en route to the eastern Mediterranean island, Cyprus Airways can only use the Greek corridor since 1974, when Turkey closed its airspace to Greek Cypriot planes following its military intervention.

Greek tourism operators have condemned air traffic controllers for aggravating their problems.

Cyprus Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Antonis Paschalides expressed his concern over the Greek strike and its impact on tourism sector in Cyprus.

"Any strike that affects Cyprus directly or indirectly, also affects Cypriot tourism and this is certainly a negative development," he said.

The minister hoped that the problem would be solved soon.

Source: Xinhua


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