Egypt’s national airline said on Friday it had suspended international flights for 12 hours because of a strike by air hostesses and stewards.
“Because of a strike by Egyptair aircrew affecting some early morning flights, the company decided to suspend its schedule of international departures from Cairo between 4:00 am and 4:00 pm (0200-1400 GMT),” a company statement said.
It said domestic operations were not affected by the industrial action, and added that it was doing “everything to contain the situation.”
The national carrier’s cabin crew have been on strike since dawn on Friday in an attempt to secure better working conditions.
Airline officials were talking with representatives of the strikers during the day in an effort to resolve the situation, an AFP journalist said.
An Egyptair official, speaking on condition of anonymity, estimated the cost of the strike at six million Egyptian pounds (around 775,000 euros).
Of the 60 international flights due to depart Cairo by 4:00 pm local time, around 40 were cancelled.
Hundreds of passengers affected by the strike crowded into Cairo airport, and some remonstrated with employees of the airline.
Since the fall last year of long-time strongman Hosni Mubarak, strike action has hit several sectors of an economy already badly affected by plummeting tourism revenues and reduced investment from overseas.
In October last year, dozens of flights out of Cairo were disrupted by a go-slow among air traffic controllers demanding higher salaries.