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French air traffic controllers strike called off after days of disruption and airport meltdowns

Industrial action had been expected to continue until the weekend

A strike by French air traffic controllers, that led to chaos for thousands of passengers and sent airports into meltdown, has been called off sparing British holiday makers further days of travel misery.

The industrial action, which had been expected to continue until the weekend, was called in protest against budget cuts. Scores of flights by UK airlines had to be cancelled due to the action, which began on Tuesday.

Unions confirmed last night that the strike was now off after the government recognised the "importance of investment in the sector".

Budget carriers easyJet and Ryanair were hardest hit by the disruption and were forced to axe a large number of services on Tuesday and yesterday, with British Airways also having to cancel some services.

Initially, nearly all the flights axed were ones not starting or finishing in the UK. But yesterday a number of UK flights were cancelled and others flying over French airspace were delayed.

EasyJet warned customers to expect some delays even though the industrial action has been called off.

The carrier said: "The strike has been cancelled from this morning so we are expecting a fairly normal operating day today.

"The level of disruption caused over the last two days is likely to have some knock-on effect throughout today, so regrettably we could still see a number of delays while we fully recover, but we are working hard to minimise any impact to our customers."