FRENCH ATC UNIONS TO STRIKE AGAIN TOMORROW AND PLAN THREE FURTHER STRIKES THIS WEEKEND
SUMMER HOLIDAYS RUINED AND FOOTBALL FANS DIRECTLY TARGETTED BY ATC UNION STRIKES
RYANAIR CALLS ON EU TO PROTECT OVERFLIGHTS AND REDUCE TRAVEL DISRUPTION
Ryanair today (1 June) called again on the European Commission to take action to prevent the skies over Europe being closed once more by French ATC unions, who have announced strike action for tomorrow, June 2nd, with three more days of strikes planned this weekend.
Ryanair regrets that it has been forced to cancel 75 flights on Thursday (2 June), to/from and over France, and will update customers as soon as details of the three further planned strike days this weekend (3 – 5 June) are known, in what will be the 50th French strike since 2009, and 9th in the past 10 weeks.
French ATC unions have announced that further strikes will be planned to not only affect tourists going on their summer holidays, but will be coordinated to directly target the European Championships being held in France between 10 June and 10 July, so that football fans from Europe and beyond will be at the mercy of French ATC unions as to whether they’ll be able to attend their teams matches or not.
Ryanair and other EU airlines have repeatedly called upon the Commission to introduce three 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
- require that flights over France are protected while ATC unions are on strike
Ryanair advised customers travelling on Thursday and this weekend to check the status of their flight on the Ryanair.com website before travelling to the airport and urged passionate football fans 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:
“This latest strike action by the French ATC unions is a clear escalation of their attempts to cause as much disruption as possible, and not only will European consumers heading off in huge numbers on their summer holidays be affected, football fans from all over the continent face massive disruption as they get ready for the European Championships, which begin next week.
It is also important to note that the tourism sectors in Italy and Spain are continuing to be hit hard by these strikes, with thousands of flights to both destinations canceled in the past few weeks alone, meaning hotel beds lie empty and restaurants remain half-full due to tourists being unable to fly over France to get there. There is a less impactful option in Greece and Italy, whereby ATC strikes impact domestic flights only, instead of international over flights.
We urge every disrupted customers, as well as disgruntled football fans and hospitality workers, 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 necessary action.”