Ryanair is urging the French government and European Commission to tackle unions as air traffic controllers in the country prepared for their latest walkout today.
Europe’s largest budget carrier was forced to ground 110 flights with further cancellations and delays likely due to the national strike by French unions.
Ryanair advised passengers due to travel today to check the status of their flight on its website before travelling to the airport.
British Airways also warned that today’s industrial action by French air traffic controllers would lead to disruption including flight cancellations.
EasyJet flights to and from French airports and those overflying the country could also be affected along with other airlines.
“We advise all passengers to allow plenty of extra time to get to the airport and consider alternative transport options where possible, as public transport services may be affected by the strike,” the carrier said.
Air France expects “limited disruption” to domestic flights but cautioned that last minute delays and cancellations can be expected.
Ryanair’s chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said: “President Macron’s government has announced a major transformation of French labour laws – but it appears nothing changes when it comes to air traffic control disruption and unions holding Europe to ransom.
“2016 was a record year for ATC strikes and French air traffic control unions have announced further strike action this week. As a result, we regret we’ve been forced to cancel 110 flights on Tuesday.
“Enough is enough. If the French government is serious about changing France, they should start by tackling these air traffic control unions, and together with the European Commission, should 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 once again.
“They cannot stand idly by as more disruption and travel misery is inflicted upon Europe’s consumers and airlines.”
Ryanair and other airlines have repeatedly called on the commission to introduce three measures which would alleviate the impact of these frequent air traffic control strikes:
• Require French air traffic control unions to engage in binding arbitration instead of strikes
• Allow Europe’s other controllers to operate flights over France during strikes
• Protect flights over France under minimum service obligations during French air traffic control strikes
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in an updated travel advisory for France: “Disruption and delays to transport services are expected.
“If you’re travelling to Calais and Dunkirk ports or the Channel Tunnel, you should allow extra time for your journey and check your chosen carrier’s website before you set off.”
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