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Air traffic controllers are protesting a European Commission initiative that would open the sector to privatization, a move that the Union of Civil Aviation says would hurt working conditions and security measures.

Air France-KLM Group, EasyJet Plc, Deutsche Lufthansa AG and other airlines serving France will cut flights as a three-day strike by French air traffic controllers begins tomorrow.

Air France SA expects to transport all passengers with tickets for longhaul travel by canceling journeys in markets where travelers can be accommodated on other flights, spokesman Herve Erscheler said by telephone. Those with tickets for flights within France or to Europe should seek to postpone their journey, he said.

France’s civil air authority has asked airlines to cut by half the number of scheduled aircraft movements so flights can be managed by fewer controllers. The strike is set to begin tomorrow morning and end on June 14 at 5:59 a.m.

Air France won’t have information on which flights are canceled until tomorrow morning, the airline said.

EasyJet said on its website that about 128 flights will be canceled each day. Passengers will be advised by e-mail of any cancellations and given the option of a refund or a transfer to another flight. EasyJet cancellations include 17 to and from Nice, 11 to and from Toulouse, and 22 to and from Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport.

British Airways Plc and Lufthansa also announced cancellations. Lufthansa currently lists 125 canceled flights on its website, almost all of which go to or from Paris, Toulouse, Lyon, Nice or Marseille.

Ryanair Holdings Plc, Europe’s largest low-fare airline, said 102 flights would be affected tomorrow and called on French authorities to intervene to end further disruptions. The right of air traffic controllers to strike should be revoked, the airline said in a statement today.

Editors: Tim Farrand and David Risser.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrea Rothman in Toulouse at [email protected]; Robert Wall in London at [email protected]. To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at [email protected].

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Tags: france, labor

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