British flight chaos as general strike starts in Portugal


British flight chaos as general strike starts in PortugalEasyjet has already cancelled 50 flights today. Photo: PA


Airlines are warning British travellers heading to Portugal to check their flight's status as a general strike in the country could see more than 470 international flights cancelled.

Easyjet has already been forced to cancel around 50 flights, with Ryanair scrapping 42 across Europe.

Passengers with other airlines also face disruptions, and are warned that a tomorrow's travel could also be affected.

Workers in Portugal are striking against austerity measures adopted in return for a £67 billion international bailout, and airports affected in the country include Lisbon, Faro, Porto, and Funchal in Madeira.

According to Travel Weekly, Tap Air Portugal's network has been particularly badly affected and only has four services guaranteed to run today.

For information on Ryanair flight status go to ryanair.com

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British flight chaos as general strike starts in Portugal

Planes can only land here when the tide is out. Washed by the sea twice a day, Traigh Mhor runway is reputed to be the only beach runway in the world to handle scheduled airline services.

This Alpine airport is home to an extremely short uphill runway (1,722 feet) - and there's a vertical drop at the end. Oh, and then there's the wind, sleet and snow - all of which play havoc with all things airbourne.

A gateway airport to many smaller Caribbean islands including St Barts and Anguilla, planes landing at St Maarten Airport provide a great photo opportunity from Maho beach.

Skimming over the beach towards the 2,300m runway, this stretch of coastline sees a lot of daily traffic with the airport servicing around about 100,000 flights a year.

Located around five miles from the centre of Sao Paulo, Congonhas is one of the busiest airports in Brazil. The proximity to the city centre means it may feel like you're skimming the tops of skyscrapers as you land and take off.

Landing at Toncontin Airport is particularly challenging for pilots due to its proximity to the mountains. In 2008 after a tragic plane crash, the airport was closed to international traffic. A major review of airport safety took place and in May 2009 a runway extension was completed. But despite this, it still has one of the shortest international runways in the world.

An approach to this airport means traversing mountainous terrain and this sometimes involves flying over occasionally active volcanoes. A recent eruption from the Pacaya volcano in 2010 caused the airport to close. Planes run the risk of ending up covered in ash, as this image of a just-landed American Airlines jet shows...

Located in the Maiquetia region of Caracas, this international airport handles flights to many important cities in the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East. Its proximity to buildings and mountains make it a technically very difficult landing strip.

Used mainly by the US Antarctica Program during the summer, this sea-ice runway has to be constructed every year as it melts around December time. Pilots who've landed on the ice say it's much like landing on concrete initially, but when the plane comes to a standstill its wheels sink a into the ice. Don't miss our feature: Revealed! The world's worst airlines!

Pilots had to be extremely skilled to negotiate numerous skyscrapers and mountains before landing on a runway jutting out into Victoria Harbour.

Between 1925 and 1998 Kai Tak served as the main airport in Hong Kong. It has now been replaced by a new airport at Chek Lap Kok.

One of Gibraltar's busiest roads, Winston Churchill Avenue, crosses directly over the runway for North Front airport. This means that the road can be closed for around two hours a day - mainly servicing planes to and from the UK. A tunnel under the runway is due to be completed in 2012.

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