Air France strike disrupts fans' World Cup itineraries

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 June, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 June, 1998, 12:00am

Hundreds of soccer fans bound for the World Cup in Paris have had their flights disrupted by the Air France pilots' strike.

Six fully booked flights between Hong Kong and France had been cancelled, affecting 1,500 passengers, Air France's China marketing manager Sarah Sanders said.

The flight due to leave for Paris tomorrow night should be the final cancellation.

All flights until the World Cup kick-off next Wednesday were full, but it was hard to tell how many passengers were bound for the soccer tournament, Ms Sanders said.

'Our figures are higher than this time last year by approximately 10 to 15 per cent,' she said. 'I think we can attribute it to the World Cup, then there's the World Expo in Portugal and other exhibitions in Europe.' All passengers had been rebooked on other airlines and were being notified. Extra staff would be at Kai Tak and Paris' Charles de Gaulle airports to help them to their new flights.

'We'll put them on direct flights as close as possible to their original times,' Ms Sanders said.

Frequent fliers would receive extra miles in credit.

One of the airline's Hong Kong employees had been flown to Paris to help homeward-bound Cantonese speakers with the new arrangements.