Travel chaos is expected to grip holidaymakers in Greece as a 48-hour general strike grinds the country to a halt.

All sectors – from dentists to hospital doctors, shop owners to lawyers – are striking in protest at yet another round of austerity measures set to be voted on by MPs this week.

As a result, flights have been grounded, public transport disrupted, and customs offices and shops have shut.

However, air traffic controllers have pledged to return to work after 12 hours. Flights are expected to resume at noon today.

And while public transport workers have staged stoppages, buses and the Athens metro are expected to run for most of the day.

Hundreds of people have gathered to demonstrate in front of Parliament in Athens, pictured.

Prime minister George Papandreou has appealed for the protests to end, saying: “I would like to ask all those who occupy ministry buildings, choke the streets with garbage, close off ports, close off the Acropolis, if this helps us stand on our feet again?”

“Of course it does not,” he added.

The austerity measures include tax hikes and more pension and salary cuts.

Both British Airways and easyJet confirmed their flights will be affected by the industrial action and warned passengers to check their flight status before travel.

The 48-hour strike is to be the biggest since the economic crisis hit Greece. The last 48-hour protest ended in widespread violence across the capital as strikers clashed with police.

Holidaymakers are advised to avoid large crowds and demonstrations.