ONE of the first easyJet flights to leave Southend Airport was delayed by a French air traffic controllers strike today.

The sold-out flight to Barcelona, due to leave the newly-extended runway at 10.25am, was held in place until 11.10am.

Airport bosses said the strike, over plans to restructure the air control services in France, meant the easyJet flight missed its alloted take-off slot and was forced to wait for a second opportunity.