Athens – Greek state carrier Olympic Airlines cancelled around 100 domestic and international flights on Thursday as air traffic controllers and flight crews launched a 24-hour strike in protest against government plans to privatize the airline. The cancellations will cover approximately 100 flights to European destinations such as London, Rome, Brussels and Frankfurt, reports said. Some domestic flights will also be canceled.

Last month, the Greek government launched a tender to sell off the ailing airline, saying it would find new public sector jobs for its workers.

Officials have said Qatar Airways is among the investors interested in the sale but union leaders have pledged to halt the privatization.

Hundreds of Olympic Airlines workers walked off the job on Wednesday and took their protest onto the runway at Athens airport. The demonstration did not end up causing flight disruptions or serious delays.

The conservative government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, said it will push forward with reforms and privatizations despite union opposition.