Ryanair furious as French air traffic control strike grounds 300 flights

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Oliver Gee - [email protected]
Ryanair furious as French air traffic control strike grounds 300 flights
Photo: AFP

A four-day strike from a French air traffic control union began on Monday, with around 4 percent of flights in France cancelled.


The strike, called by the UNSA union, will see 300 flights cancelled on Monday, mostly in southern and western France. 
Air France will see 20 percent of its Monday flights in France cancelled, with easyJet cancelling 38 scheduled flights. 
Air France added that 100 percent of its long-haul flights would operate as normal, as well as 99 percent of its medium-haul flights. 
The civil aviation authority recommended cancellations to 25 percent of flights serving the south of France for the week, and 33 percent of those in the west.
The flights connecting these areas to Paris will impacted too, although exactly how many flights this will affect remains unknown at this point.
Transport Minister Alain Vidales said the strikes were "largely incomprehensible" and said it "feeds the stigmas against the public service, and air traffic controllers in particular". 
Nice and Marseille airports are expected to be hit on Tuesday.
But it's not just flights to and from France that will be affected, travellers whose flights fly over France will also be hit.
The strike is scheduled to end on Friday March 10th.
It's France's civil aviation authority that calls for the flights to be cancelled in order to reduce the amount of air traffic during strike days.
Air traffic controllers working at airports in Brest, Bordeaux and Aix-en-Provence are staging the walk-out over a dispute surrounding working hours and conditions, essentially affecting flights across the country.
As usual passengers are advised to contact their airlines to find out out of they will be affected.
Budget airline Ryanair, whose chiefs have long lambasted French air traffic controllers for their repeated strike action, was once again left furious after being forced to cancel 45 flights on Monday.
In a statement given to The Local a company spokesperson said: "Ryanair has called on the French Government and European Commission to take immediate action to prevent the skies over Europe being closed yet again by French ATC unions.

"Ryanair regrets that it has been forced to cancel 45 flights on Monday (6 Mar) to/from/over France, with further cancellations possible and delays likely as French ATC unions yet again close the skies over Europe.

And Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said: "After a record year of ATC disruption in 2016, French Air Traffic Control unions have announced further strike action this week, and as a result, we regret we’ve been forced to cancel 45 flights on Monday 6th March.

"We call on the French Government and European Commission to take immediate action to prevent thousands of European consumers from having their travel plans disrupted by a tiny group of ATC unions going on strike. They cannot stand idly by and allow another summer of disruption and travel misery for European consumers to take place."





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