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May Day

Ryanair to cancel 220 flights on Monday due to French Air Traffic Control strikes

Ryanair has repeatedly called on the European Commission to intervene in the French strike action.

GROUP CEO OF Ryanair Michael O’Leary has said that the airline must cancel over 200 flights on Monday because air traffic controllers in France are striking.

These cancellations are expected to impact 40,000 passengers who were either flying to France or through its airspace en route to another country.

1 May will be the 51st day of strike action by French Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs).

Previous strike action this year has led to the cancellation of over 3,700 Ryanair flights disrupting 666,000 passengers, the airline said.

In the video posted to Ryanair’s Twitter, O’Leary said the strikes were “completely unacceptable”.

“France is using minimum service legislation to protect its local French flights. But all of the cancellations are then being disproportionately passed on to English flights, Irish flights, Italian flights, Spanish and German flights, this is unfair.”

“France must be required by the EU Commission to protect overflights. It is unfair that flights from the UK to Spain or flights from Italy to Portugal are being canceled simply because a bunch of French Air Traffic Controllers want to go on strike.”

O’Leary added that he respected the workers’ rights to strike but said that it should be domestic French flights that are cancelled if ATCs wish to strike, not international flights.

He apologised to customers who had their flights cancelled and said that Ryanair would try to re-accommodate them.

Over 600,000 people have signed Ryanair’s petition calling for the European Commission to stop French strikes impacting overflights.

When the petition reaches 1 million signatures the airline said it will “submit it to the EU Commission and demand that President Ursula von der Leyen take action”.

A notice asking passengers to sign the petition has been displayed in the Ryanair app for the past several weeks. 

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