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Spanish air strike to hit flights

Air passengers have been undergoing severe disruption on flights to and from Spain because of a 24-hour general strike by Spanish workers.

Budget airline Ryanair scrapped most of its flights to Spain and all of its internal ones in the country, while easyJet cancelled around half its Spanish flights.

British Airways cancelled a number of flights to and from Spain and BA and other carriers also had to axe some services to and from Brussels because of separate industrial action in Belgium.

Flights to Barcelona, Madrid and Malaga were among the early-morning services BA had to cancel.

Ryanair was also hit by the Belgian strike, with the Irish airline having to axe a number of services to and from Charleroi near Brussels.

EasyJet said it had written some days ago to passengers planning on flying to Spain, offering them the opportunity to change their travel plans.

Ryanair, which last week was forced to axe 250 flights due to strike action by French air traffic controllers, called on EU leaders to act against those disrupting flights.

Madrid's Barajas Airport was free of protesters, although unions have said they want to severely limit domestic and international flights. The national aviation authority AENA said 70% of the country's air traffic controllers are expected to show up for work.

In other strikes, picketers hurled eggs at buses and blocked trucks from delivering produce to wholesale markets in Spain.

Striking workers braving a pre-dawn chill staged a sit-in outside a garage housing buses in the capital Madrid, screaming "scabs" at drivers trying to get out on to the road in the country's first general strike since 2002. Some strikers scuffled with police, and Spanish National Radio reported 11 people injured nationwide.

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