Ryanair calls on EU to finally take action as French ATC strike closes Europe’s skies – yet again



Ryanair today (18 May) called on the European Commission to take action to prevent the skies over Europe being closed yet again by French ATC unions striking tomorrow, the 5th French strike in 2 months, and the 46th in 7 years. Ryanair regrets that it has been forced to cancel over 70 flights on Thursday (19 May), to/from and over France, with further delays likely.

This unjustified strike action demonstrates how a tiny French union can once more hold Europe’s skies to ransom with thousands of flights from the UK, Ireland, Spain and Italy – none of which either take off or land in France – cancelled and hundreds of thousands of passengers’ travel plans again disrupted.

Ryanair and other EU airlines have repeatedly called upon the Commission to introduce two simple measures which would alleviate the impact of such of ATC strikes on consumers as follows:

  • require French ATC unions to engage in binding arbitration instead of strikes to resolve their claims, or
  • allow Europe’s other ATCs to operate overflights over France while ATC unions are on strike.

Ryanair advised customers travelling on Thursday to check the status of their flight on the Ryanair.com website before travelling to the airport and urged all those affected to sign its Keep Europe’s Skies Open petition, which it will present to the European Commission once it accrues a million signatures.

Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said:

Once more Europe’s consumers are being held to ransom by tiny French ATC unions, causing hundreds of thousands of passenger flights to be cancelled or delayed, while the European Commission and French Government sit on their hands.  

As we approach the peak holiday season, European travellers should prepare for a summer of discontent as there is absolutely nothing preventing these selfish unions from staging even more strikes in the coming weeks and months. How many more flights and customers will be disrupted before the Commission finally takes action?

We urge every disrupted customer to sign up to Ryanair’s petition, www.KeepEuropesSkiesOpen.com, and when we gather one million signatures, we will present this petition to the European Commission to force it to finally take action. Enough is enough.




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