air rage | 

Ryanair and Aer Lingus flights from Dublin Airport are cancelled as French air traffic controllers go on strike

Ryanair flight leaving Dublin Airport (Stock)© PA

John MulliganIndependent.ie

Ryanair and Aer Lingus are among the airlines that have been forced to cancel hundreds of flights after French air traffic controllers said they will strike on Friday.

Dublin Airport will have 16 flights cancelled, with passengers told to check with their airline.

The industrial action will ground hundreds of thousands of passengers throughout Europe. Airlines flying to and from France will be affected, as will those using French airspace.

Ryanair is cancelling 420 flights, affecting the travel plans of more than 80,000 passengers.

France’s DGAC aviation authority has asked airlines to cut their schedules to and from France in half from Friday. It has also urged passengers to defer non-essential travel.

France’s SNCTA air traffic control union is striking over pay and recruitment issues.

Ryanair, Europe’s biggest airline by passenger numbers, said it will mainly be affected by the limitations on flying over France.

It operates up to 3,000 flights a day across Europe during the height of the peak season.

“It’s 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 operations director Neal McMahon said in a statement. Other air traffic control centres should be allowed to manage overflights of France during strikes, he added.

Air France has said it will operate only 45pc of its short-and medium-haul flights on Friday.

SNCTA has cited inflation and its demands to hire more people as the reasons for the walkout.

Eurocontrol, the Brussels-based agency that manages Europe’s airspace, has warned the disruption caused by the strike is expected to be “significant”.

It has requested air traffic control centres in other countries to handle extra aircraft demand through their airspace in an effort to mitigate the disruption.

It has also established alternative routing scenarios via Switzerland and the Canaries.


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