Ryanair today, Thurs (15th Sept) called on the EU to take immediate action to protect overflights over French airspace tomorrow, Fri (16th Sept) while French Air Traffic Control (ATC) go on an all-out one-day strike.
Ryanair regrets that it is forced to cancel 420 flights (disrupting 80,000 passengers) mainly overflying France on Fri (16th Sept) as a result of this unjustified French ATC strike, which achieve nothing but disrupt thousands of European citizens/visitors’ weekend travel plans. It is inexplicable that flights which overfly France are disrupted by French ATC strikes yet domestic French flights are protected by minimum service laws. The European Union must step in and protect overflights so that passengers who are travelling between Spain, Italy, Ireland, Germany, etc. are not disrupted just because they fly over France while French ATC unions strike.
Ryanair proposes 3 simple measures which would alleviate the impact of these French ATC strikes on Europe’s citizens/visitors:
Require French ATC unions to engage in binding arbitration instead of strikes
Protect French overflights (under minimum services laws)
Allow Europe’s other ATCs to manage overflights over France while French ATC unions strike
All 80,000 affected Ryanair customers have been notified this morning and advised of their options via email/SMS. Ryanair sincerely apologises to its customers for these unnecessary disruptions that this French ATC strike will cause them.
Ryanair Ops Director, Neal McMahon:
“It is inexplicable that thousands of European citizens/visitors will have their travel plans unfairly disrupted tomorrow, (Fri 16th Sept) by yet another French ATC strike. Ryanair is once again calling for immediate EU action to prevent these ATC strikes disrupting the travel plans of thousands of European citizens/visitors.
It is inexcusable that passengers who are not even flying to/from France are disrupted because they overfly French Airspace at a time when French laws protect French domestic flights. It is time that the EU step in and protect overflights so that European passengers are not repeatedly held to ransom by a tiny French ATC union.”