By Humphrey Carter YESTERDAY'S general strike in France caused delays to over 300 flights at Palma's Son Sant Joan airport. Palma airport bosses confirmed that by 6.30pm, 309 flights handled by the airport suffered average delays of 12 minutes because of industrial action by air traffic controllers in France, although some arrivals were delayed for over an hour.

Worst hit were departures, especially flights bound for the UK and northern Europe, with five per cent of flights taking off an hour late.
The longest delay of the day was suffered by passengers on a Vikings airline flight from Sweden to Palma.
The flight was due to land at 10am, but did not touch down in Majorca until 5pm, seven hours later.
However, apart from widespread disruption, only three flights were cancelled from Palma with a total 31 flights grounded across Spain. Spanish airport authority AENA spent the day working closely with all European Union airspace air traffic control bodies to keep air traffic flowing as best as possible.

Air traffic between the Balearics and the United Kingdom, N. Ireland and northern west Europe is dependent on French air space and air traffic controllers, hence why industrial action in France always causes a disruption to UK holidaymakers bound for the Balearics. Marseille controllers are infamous for their summertime work-to-rules which will affect flights during the peak season months of July and August adding further weight to the argument in favour of a single sky. Many of the UK and N. Ireland flights were re-routed along alternative flight paths, taking aircraft away from French airspace. Further industrial action in France will only cause more disruption to people's summer holidays over the next few months. see World News