French air traffic control strike: Easyjet runs 'rescue flight' to get children home

Special flights laid on to help stranded passengers in Europe

French air traffic control strike: Easyjet runs rescue flights

Rescue flights to repatriate schoolchildren stranded by the French air traffic controlstrike are being operated today by Easyjet.

The low-fare carrier is laying on five special flights - Luton to Paris, Paris to Barcelona, Barcelona to Luton, Gatwick to Madrid, and Marrakech to Gatwick. Words: PA.

Easyjet is also looking to operate larger planes today to ease the problems caused by the 48-hour controllers' strike which ended yesterday.

Easyjet was among the worst-hit of the airlines - having to axe 331 flights yesterday and 248 on Wednesday.

An airline spokesman said: "We recognise that there are a number of passengers across the network who have been affected by these cancellations and still require flights as soon as possible.

"We are operating five rescue flights, prioritising the repatriation of three groups of schoolchildren."

Other carriers, including Ryanair, British Airways and Flybe were also badly affected by the strike, with Ryanair having to cancel more than 250 flights on Wednesday.

The controllers are scheduled to stage two more stoppages in the coming days - the first from April 16-18 and the second from April 29 to May 2.

Among those still trying to get home are Nathan Thorne, 23, and his sister Olivia, 14, who had their Ryanair flight from Limoges to Leeds Bradford cancelled yesterday.

The pair have not been able to get another flight home until next Thursday, when a further strike is due to begin.

Olivia was due back at school in Selby, North Yorkshire, next Monday, while Mr Thorne, who is with the army's Royal Logistics Corps, is anxious to get back as he begins a six-month tour of duty in the Falkland Islands on April 22.

Mr Thorne, from Goole on Humberside, said: "All the flights before next Thursday are booked up and the Eurostar train is extremely expensive.

"I am hoping to get back so I can get my kit sorted out for my Falklands tour."

15 flights from hell

15 flights from hell

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