Irish flights cancelled as strikes cause chaos in France

A number of Irish flights have been cancelled as a national protest rages in France.

All Ryanair and Aer Lingus services between Dublin and Paris were cancelled yesterday and today because of the nationwide strike.

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The industrial action led to the Eiffel Tower closing and high-speed trains standing still as tens of thousands of people marched through Paris and other cities yesterday in an outpouring of anger at the government’s plan to overhaul the retirement system.

Small groups of masked activists smashed shop windows, set fires and hurled flares on the sidelines of the otherwise peaceful Paris march, prompting volleys of tear gas from police in body armour.

Unions launched the open-ended strikes over President Emmanuel Macron’s centrepiece reform in the biggest challenge to the centrist leader since the yellow vest movement erupted a year ago.

Opponents fear the changes to how and when workers can retire will threaten the hard-fought French way of life.

The Louvre Museum warned of strike disruption, and metro stations across Paris shut their gates. Around 90pc of high-speed TGV trains have been cancelled.

The strike has also affected hundreds of flights, with authorities saying 20pc were grounded.

In a statement, Ryanair, which sent text messages to customers affected, said: “We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused by this national strike. We will do everything we can to minimise your disruption, which is sadly beyond our control.”

Aer Lingus, while confirming that all flights into and from Paris were cancelled, said: “We’re working to re-accommodate affected guests. Those opting to cancel their trip will be refunded. Please check flight status before journeying to the airport.”

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