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French reject British Airways request to move flights

May 1, 1997

PARIS (AP) _ France denied British Airways’ request to move its operations from one Paris airport to another, despite BA’s concerns that flights by Algeria’s airline put Charles de Gaulle in danger of terrorist attacks.

The British carrier, whose check-in counters at de Gaulle airport are next to Air Algerie, had hoped to move about 60 daily flights to Orly Airport, south of Paris.

BA _ which also shares a de Gaulle baggage conveyor belt with Air Algerie _ wants the Algerian carrier segregated from other airlines, as it is at Marseille airport.

The French aviation authority DGAC rejected the request Wednesday night, after de Gaulle airport officials insisted their security was adequate.

Algeria since 1992 has been struggling with Muslim insurgents who also have struck at France, which maintains ties with the former colony.

British Airways has allowed only carry-on baggage on flights from de Gaulle since Friday, when Air Algerie began flying out of the airport, France’s largest.

BA spokeswoman Stephanie Smith said the company’s next step is more legal action. After a Versailles court this week deemed itself incapable of ruling on the matter, the case was referred to an administrative court in Melun. That court is to rule next week, she said.

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