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Strike paralyses AOM/Air Liberté

AOM-Air Liberté's counter was closed at Orly airport, south of Paris Keystone

The French domestic airline, AOM/Air Liberté, has suffered a severe disruption to its services due to industrial action. Workers are striking on Wednesday in protest at planned job cuts at the loss-making airline, which is 49 per cent owned by the Swissair Group.

The carrier said all short- and long-haul flights departing from or landing at Paris Orly airport had been cancelled. Passengers had been advised not to go to the airport because of the expected severity of the strike.

Protesters planned to block access to the airport to show their anger about the planned cuts. Workers have been conducting sporadic walkouts for the past two months.

The airline announced last month that it would slash 1,300 positions as part of a restructuring programme aimed at getting it out of the red by 2004.

The shareholders, Swissair Group and Marine Wendel, are expected to cut off funding for the carrier on June 25. Attempts to find a buyer to take over AOM/Air Liberté have been unsuccessful and the airline is facing bankruptcy.

Last week, the company said potential buyers were being put off because the restructuring programme had not been agreed with staff.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR