By Jonathan Davies

Hundreds of flights to and from France have been cancelled as air traffic controllers go on strike.

France's largest union SNCTA called for Wednesday and Thursday's action over working conditions.

As a result, the DGAC civil aviation authority has asked airlines to cut their planned flights to and from France by around 40%. Short-haul flights are expected to be worst affected.

"Disruption is expected over the whole country," the DGAC said in a statement.

Irish budget airline Ryanair says it has cancelled 250 flights as a result, and could be forced to cancel even more.

"We sincerely apologise to all customers affected by this unwarranted strike action and we call on the EU and French authorities to take measures to prevent any further disruption," said Ryanair in a statement.

"It's grossly unfair that thousands of European travellers will once again have their travel plans disrupted by the selfish actions of a tiny number of French ATC [air traffic control] workers."

Further action is planned for 18-19 April and 29 April-2 May.