Air passengers grounded in strike-hit Germany, France

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FRANKFURT AM MAIN: Tens of thousands of air passengers were stranded Tuesday as aviation giants Lufthansa and Air France were hit by strikes that crippled traffic at several major European airports.
Germany’s biggest carrier Lufthansa was forced to cancel 800 out of 1,600 scheduled flights, including 58 long-haul flights, as German public sector workers including ground crew and airport firefighters walked out between 5:00 am and 6:00 pm (0300 and 1600 GMT).

Tuesday’s “warning strike” hit Germany’s biggest airport Frankfurt as well as other regional hubs such as Munich, Cologne and Bremen.

Half of the flights at Munich were delayed or cancelled according to the union Verdi, reported national news agency DPA.

Beyond airports, local transport, kindergartens, rubbish collection and hospitals were also affected as civil servants walked out to demand a 6.0-percent pay raise for the 2.3 million people working for Germany’s federal, state and local governments.

Sybille Metzler, who…

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