Thousands of British tourists heading for the Balearics, and British residents heading back to the UK this Easter can start bracing themselves for possible strike action and heavy disruptions to their vacations because of a threatened strike by British air traffic controllers, which unions said yesterday is more than likely to go ahead. The controllers are still concerned about the safety implications of the Government's plan to partly privatise National Air Traffic Services. But the controllers' main union stress that no strike ballot has been instigated nor any specific strike date earmarked. But yesterday it was suggested that should a strike be called, industrial action could coincide with the Easter holidays in April. Last year, Minorca in particular, started the season unusually early in order to meet demand from the British market and with Easter falling earlier this year, the Balearic tourist industry will be open for business in five weeks time. But a disrupted start to Easter is not good news for the the tourist industry and travellers and a decision on an all out strike will be made next week.

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