Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Ryanair cancels 100 flights at the last minute blaming ‘inexplicable’ EU strikes

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Ryanair has confirmed the cancellation of almost 100 flights today (June 6), blaming ‘unexplainable’ strike action. The low-cost airline, which operates out of Manchester Airport, has warned passengers about French air traffic controllers’ plans to strike – for the 84th time since 2023. The strike will disrupt all travel to and from Paris Beauvais Airport.

Bosses at the budget airline took their frustration at the last-minute cancellations affecting thousands of their passengers to the top body of the European Union, criticising its inability to prevent strike disruption. All of the affected flights had less than a day’s notice that the French Air Traffic Controller (ATC) industrial action would lead to cancellations.

A spokesperson for Ryanair criticised Ursula von der Leyen and the EU Commission, saying: “It is inexplicable that Ursula von der Leyen and the EU Commission have failed to take action to protect EU passengers’ Freedom of Movement during these repeated French ATC strikes. As a result, we have been forced to cancel almost 100 flight to/from Paris Beauvais Airport tomorrow, Thurs 6th June, unfairly disrupting thousands of EU passengers’ travel plans at short notice.”, reports BirminghamLive.

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The spokesperson continued: “EU passengers are sick and tired of suffering unnecessary cancellations during ATC strikes. The EU Commission must now act upon Ryanair’s Protect Passengers – Keep EU Skies Open petition of more than 2.1m EU passengers’ signatures which Ryanair delivered directly to the EU Commission offices in May, Sept and Jan last.

“There is no excuse for EU passengers to bear the burden of national ATC strikes that are completely unrelated to them and its time that Ursula von der Leyen and the EU Commission do something about it.”

Ryanair currently operates to Paris Beauvais Airport from Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Edinburgh and Belfast. It is not yet clear which flights have been cancelled, so passengers will have to check before flying.

Paris Beauvais Airport has also issued a travel warning to passengers, saying: “Major disruptions are expected in the flight schedule. Please contact your airline for any information on the status of your flight.”

The air traffic controllers’ union at Paris’ Orly airport has also filed a strike notice, covering June 11, June 12 and also June 13.

The exact level of disruption will depend on how many air traffic controllers heed the UNSA-ICNA union’s call, but a strike two weeks ago by the same union saw 70 percent of flights in and out of Orly airport cancelled. Other French airports were unaffected.

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