AIR traffic controllers, who left thousands of passengers stranded over the bank holiday weekend, have apologised to the public for their wild cat strike.

The controllers called in sick en masse on Friday in a protest over working hours and benefits.

But now the union, USCA, has said on its Twitter page that it was an ‘extreme and excessive decision’ and they have apologised to all those affected.

The strike led the government to impose a 15-day state of alert for the first time since Spain became a democracy after the death of General Franco in 1975.

And the Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is expected to give a full statement to Congress on the matter on Thursday.

According to reports he may extend the state of alert by a further two months to train military personnel to take the jobs of those who have been dismissed, to safeguard against further travel chaos over the Christmas period.

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