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12 Sep 2017

BY Tom Parry

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Ryanair urges French government to end ATC strikes

Ryanair has called on French president Emmanuel Macron and the European Commission to take “immediate action” to end the latest wave of air traffic control (ATC) strikes taking place today.

Ryanair aircraft parked
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Chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said unions were "holding Europe to ransom"

The low-cost carrier said it had been forced to ground 110 flights with further cancellations and delays likely due to the national walkout by French ATC unions.

 

Ryanair advised passengers due to travel today to check the status of their flight on its website before travelling to the airport, while British Airways and easyJet warned the industrial action could lead to disruption.

 

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 called on the European Commission to introduce three measures which it claimed would alleviate the impact of ATC strikes.

 

The methods include; requiring French ATC unions to engage in binding arbitration instead of strikes, allow Europe’s other controllers to operate flights over France during strikes and protect flights over France under minimum service obligations during French ATC strikes.

 

In a travel update on its website, the Foreign Office advised: “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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