Ryanair calls for EU action to prevent French ATC unions disrupting millions of EU holidaymakers next week

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Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline, today (26 June) received notification from the French Air Traffic Control (ATC) that the French ATC unions intend to strike for 4 days next week (from Tuesday 30th June to Friday 3rd July) which will result in thousands of flights being cancelled/delayed and millions of consumers having their holiday plans cancelled/disrupted during the peak holiday season.

Ryanair called on the French Government and the EU Commission to take steps to keep the skies over France open next week by allowing other EU ATCs to operate French overflights. If no action is taken, millions of European consumers will have their holidays cancelled because all flights in July are fully booked, and there is little or no spare capacity to allow customers to rebook their holidays, or allow customers overseas to rebook return flights if their original return flights are cancelled as a result of these unjustified French ATC strikes.

Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said:

“This is the second time in two months that French ATC unions will deliberately close the skies over Europe and disrupt the travel plans of millions of consumers. The timing of these strikes is designed to cause maximum disruption to consumers because there’s little or no capacity in the system to allow customers to rebook or reschedule cancelled holidays.

This afternoon, the French authorities have asked the airlines to cut 40% of flights next week, which will result in millions of consumers having their flights or holidays cancelled, with no opportunity to rebook or reroute them. The timing of these strikes during the first week of the school holidays is reprehensible.

These types of strikes are not permitted in the USA, where Air Traffic Controllers are prohibited from striking, and are required by law to resolve their industrial relations issues through binding arbitration. It’s time that the French State and/or the European Union follow this example and prevent Europe’s hard pressed consumers from having their annual holidays disrupted or cancelled each year by French ATC unions.”

26 Jun 2015

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