France braces for pilots' strike


French aviation unions have warned that they expect major air traffic disruptions this week as workers including pilots, flight attendants and ground staff launch a nationwide four-day strike.

"The movement will be very well followed. Saying how many is always complicated, but there will be a lot of people on strike," the head of the powerful SNPL pilots' union, Yves Deshayes, said.

The unions voted on Friday for strike action on February 6th-9th to protest against a draft law that will require aviation workers to give 48 hours notice before taking strike action.

The bill was approved by France's lower house last month and is being studied in the Senate. Leading French carrier Air France has insisted the effects of the strike will be limited, saying it will be able to run more than 80 percent of its short- and medium-haul flights and more than 85 percent of its long-haul flights.

But union officials were sceptical.

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