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GENEVA: Some 59 flights were cancelled at Geneva’s international airport on Friday, it said, after operations were halted for four hours because of a strike by workers at the start of the busy summer travel season.

“Because of the social action… the direction decided a temporary halt of operations from 6:00 am to 10:00 am (0400 GMT and 0800 GMT),” the airport said in a tweet early on Friday. “59 flights – arrivals and departures – cancelled.”

An airport spokesman said on Thursday that some 8,000 passengers were estimated to be affected by the cancellations at Switzerland’s second airport, a key hub for the EasyJet budget carrier.

The strike was called after the airport’s board approved on Thursday a new wage policy contested by staff.

Nearly 6.8 million passengers used the airport between January and May, according to official statistics.

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The aviation industry has been keen to avoid a repeat of the chaos seen at European airports last year.

The sector struggled to cope with a surge in travel as it was severely understaffed after laying off thousands during the Covid pandemic.

Passengers faced huge lines, misplaced luggage and flight delays.

Other European airports and airlines have also faced strikes by staff.

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