air rage | 

80,000 Ryanair passengers to be left stranded after 420 flights set to be cancelled on Friday

Irish passengers flying to Spain, Italy, France and some other European destinations will be effected.

Ryanair flight FR1964 takes off from Dublin Airport's new North Runway.© PA

Clodagh MeaneySunday World

Up to 80,000 Ryanair passengers could be left stranded after the airline announced that they have been forced to cancel 420 flights due to take off on Friday, September 16th. Planes will be grounded as French Air Traffic Control is set to go on an all-out one-day strike.

Ryanair have called on the European Union to take action to protect flights over French airspace. The cancellations will mainly affect those planning to travel between Ireland, Spain, Italy, Germany and other locations that have a flight overflying France.

The 80,000 Ryanair customers affected by the action have been notified and have been advised of their options via email or text message.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Ryanair said: “Ryanair sincerely apologises to its customers for these unnecessary disruptions that this French ATC strike will cause them.”

Ryanair Operations Director Neal McMahon added that the strike was “inexplicable” and “inexcusable”.

“It is inexplicable that thousands of European citizens/visitors will have their travel plans unfairly disrupted tomorrow, (Fri 16th Sept) by yet another French ATC strike.”

“Ryanair is once again calling for immediate EU action to prevent these ATC strikes from disrupting the travel plans of thousands of European citizens/visitors.”

“It is inexcusable that passengers who are not even flying to/from France are disrupted because they overfly French Airspace at a time when French laws protect French domestic flights.”

It is time that the EU step in and protect overflights so that European passengers are not repeatedly held to ransom by a tiny French ATC union.”

Ryanair has asked that in lieu of the disruption that French ATC unions engage in binding arbitration, French overflights are protected and that Europe’s other ATCs manage overflights over France.

It comes just one week after Aer Lingus passengers flying out of Dublin airport to British and European destinations were severely impacted after an IT fault left the airline unable to check any passengers in.

Passengers were told not to travel to Dublin Airport where massive queues began to form.

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