Euro 2016 fans' 'uncertainty' at French air strike

Wales celebrate beating Belgium Image copyright AP
Image caption Wales celebrate after beating Belgium to get to the semi-final

Hundreds of Wales fans trying to get to France for the Euro 2016 semi-final have been left confused after strikes caused some flights to be cancelled.

The flash strike by French air traffic control was announced on Monday, two days before Wales plays Portugal.

The Eurocontrol air traffic control operations website said the current strike disruption was causing "low to moderate delays".

Airlines are not being asked to cancel flights at this stage.

However, more than 200 flights to, from and over France were cancelled on Tuesday, lobby group Airlines for Europe claimed.

The Football Supporters' Federation Cymru said fans were "doing all sorts" of alternative journeys to get to Lyon.

The demand to see Wales play in their biggest ever game on Wednesday evening has also seen the 20,000-capacity fan zone at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff sell out.

Image caption Some fans have beaten the rush and arrived early in Lyon

The FSF said those trying to get to France should instead fly to Milan, in Italy, and drive from there after flights to Geneva and Amsterdam were fully booked.

However, the strike is due to end at 0400 BST on Wednesday, before the first flights of the day take off.

"All the ferries are booked now and the [Eurotunnel] is full. Everything is full," Vince Alm, of the federation, said.

"So people are having to catch ferries from Portsmouth to Santander [Spain] and they are driving down from there."

Chris Coleman's team faces Cristiano Ronaldo and co in Lyon on Wednesday at 20:00 BST.

The FSF is expecting more than 20,000 Wales fans to make the trip.

Chartered flights

Image copyright Cardiff Airport

Cardiff Airport said about 900 football fans were due to fly out to Lyon-Saint-Exupéry Airport on Wednesday.

Five charter flights have been arranged by travel companies Gullivers, SportsTravel and Strachans.

The chartered aircraft include a 265 seat Boeing 767-300.

The flights are:

A Boeing 737-800, departing at 06:00 BST

A Boeing 737-400, departing at 08:00

A Boeing 737-800, departing at 10:00

A Boeing 767-300, departing at 11:10

Also an Embraer 195 - departure time tbc

Matt Jones, from London, who has tickets for the match, said he was not informed of the cancellation of his flight to Lyon from London Luton until 23:00 BST on Monday.

He said: "It led to an hour or so of panic trying to make other arrangements.

"There were no alternative flights and most of the Eurostar journeys were fully booked.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Cardiff's fan zone has been moved to the Principality Stadium for the Portugal game

"Luckily, we were able to find two train tickets but it has cost us an extra £210, plus it means a full day of travelling today."

Airlines for Europe (A4E), which represents carriers such as easyJet, Ryanair and British Airways' parent company IAG, said as well as the cancelled flights, others were set to be delayed.

Ryanair cancelled 102 flights on Tuesday.

A spokesman for easyJet, which cancelled 46 flights, assured passengers "it will do everything possible to limit the inconvenience of this strike".

He added passengers on cancelled flights had been contacted by email or text message.

A Cardiff Airport spokeswoman said: "We are not expecting any disruption to flights. However, it's going to be a very busy morning at the airport (on Wednesday) and passengers are advised to leave plenty of time to check in and get through security."

British Airways would not confirm its number of cancellations.

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