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Ryanair cancelled 420 flights today. Alamy Stock Photo
French Strikes

European passengers hit with further travel chaos as French air traffic controllers strike today

A number of Irish flights have been cancelled and impacted customers have been contacted.

PASSENGERS ACROSS EUROPE are having their travel plans disrupted today as a strike by French air traffic controllers has resulted in flights across the continent being cancelled.

Ryanair is chief among the airlines impacted, cancelling 420 flights across Europe today due to the industrial action.

The airline said 80,000 passengers would be impacted by the cancellations and mainly flights that overfly France are impacted.

A number of flights from Dublin have been cancelled while Aer Lingus has also cancelled 12 flights to France today due to the industrial action.

A small number of flights from Cork and Shannon airports have also been cancelled.

The airlines said all affected customers have been notified and advised of their options by email and SMS.

France’s biggest air traffic controllers’ union, SNCTA, called its members out on strike, with representatives raising concerns that inflation is eroding spending power.

France’s DGAC aviation authority earlier this week asked airlines to halve their flight schedules today due to the planned strike.

Air France said just 45% of its short- and medium-haul services will operate today, while 90% of long-haul connections would go ahead.

Ryanair said it is “inexplicable” that flights which overfly France are disrupted by the strikes but domestic French flights are protected by minimum service laws.

It called on the European Union to step in and protect overflights so that passengers who are travelling between countries such as Spain, Italy, Ireland and Germany are not disrupted just because they fly over France during a strike.

The airline proposes potential measures which could help alleviate the impact of air traffic controller strikes.

These included flights flying over France being protected under minimum services laws and allowing Europe’s other air traffic controllers to manage overflights while French unions strike.

Ryanair Operations Director, Neal McMahon said: “Ryanair is once again calling for immediate EU action to prevent these ATC strikes 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.”

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