Middle East airlines have been forced to cancel all flights to Athens on Wednesday as Athens International Airport closes in preparation of strike action by Greek transport workers.
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways confirmed to Arabian Business that the EY91/90 return flight from Abu Dhabi to Athens has been cancelled on Wednesday. A spokesperson from Amman-based Royal Jordanian also confirmed that it has scrapped all flights to Athens on Wednesday.
Dubai's Emirates Airline confirmed its EK105/106 return flight to Athens has been cancelled as a result of the industrial action.
Bahrain’s Gulf Air and Doha-based Qatar Airways also fly scheduled flights to Athens and will be affected by Wednesday’s strike action.
The airlines were not immediately available for comment.
On Tuesday, Greek air traffic controllers said all domestic and international flights were cancelled, and only military, medical or government aircrafts would be allowed to take off or land at Athens airport on Wednesday.
"Thousands of citizens will be on the streets, almost no public or private sector service will operate," said spokesman Efstathios Anestis of the umbrella workers' union GSEE.
Private sector union GSEE and its public sector sister ADEDY, which jointly represent more than 2.5m Greek workers, have rejected repeated calls from the government to attend talks on pension reforms and have staged several rallies instead.
Like other EU countries with ageing populations, Greece is struggling to reform its pension system and is battling to rein in its economy following a bailout from the EU
State carrier Olympic Airways joined the walkout, after the government said on Friday it was unlikely the company could be rescued in its present form.
"This is a big day. There will be no flights. We believe the reaction will be so strong the government will be forced to review its proposals," said Manolis Patestos, president of the federation of civil aviation unions.
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