Irish airlines cancel flights as strike takes aim at football fans

Ryanair has been forced to cancel 44 flights
Ryanair has been forced to cancel 44 flights

Within hours of Ireland's Euro 2016 opener, soccer fans are facing their second wave of travel disruption due to strikes.

On Monday, fans travelling with Air France from Dublin to Paris saw their plans upended as a pilots' strike forced the cancellation of a 9.10am flight.

Now comes the news that French ATC workers are to strike on Tuesday, the day after Ireland faced Sweden, disrupting both Ryanair and Aer Lingus schedules.

Ryanair has been forced to cancel 44 flights to, from and over France on June 14, including FR1984 and FR1985 to/from Carcassone and Dublin.

Aer Lingus has been forced to cancel eight flights:

EI508     Dublin to Bordeaux
EI509     Bordeaux to Dublin
EI544     Dublin to Nice
EI545     Nice to Dublin
EI562     Dublin to Barcelona
EI563     Barcelona to Dublin
EI552     Dublin to Lyons
EI553     Lyons to Dublin
Passengers of both airlines should check their websites for full details, where they will be ably to apply for a re-routing or refund.

The strikes are the 50th by French ATC unions since 2009, according to Ryanair, which says they are "planned to directly target the European Championships".

“It’s not only holidaymakers whose travel plans are in jeopardy," said Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director of A4E, Europe's largest airline association.

"Fans visiting Euro 2016 are also at risk and face the real prospect of sitting on the tarmac on a delayed flight while holding tickets to see their country playing.”

French ATC strikes have caused over 150 days of disruption since 2009, A4E says.