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Ryanair cancels more than 300 flights over planned French air traffic control strike

The country’s main air traffic control union have dropped a call for a one-day strike after making a deal for higher pay.

RYANAIR HAS said it has been forced to cancel over 300 flights today over an anticipated air traffic controllers (ATC) strike in French, which was called off last-minute. 

The country’s main ATC union have dropped a call for a one-day strike after making a deal for higher pay.

Speaking ahead of the strike being called off, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said the airline has been forced to cancel more than 300 flights over “France’s failure to protect our flights”. 

O’Leary said this would affect the flight plans of over 50,000 passengers. 

“This is completely unacceptable. Legal mechanisms exist across Europe, in Spain, in Italy, in Greece, for protecting overflights during national ATC strikes,” he said. 

“We continue to ask why France and the European Commission won’t protect overflights during French ATC strikes,” O’Leary added. 

He said that French air traffic controllers have a “right” to go on strike, but he added that French flights should be cancelled, not flights leaving Ireland and travelling over France. 

In Paris, around 75% of flights at Orly and 55% at Charles de Gaulle airport were to be dropped today, the DGAC civil aviation authority told airlines in a notification seen by AFP yesterday.

Around 65% of services at Marseille airport and 45% elsewhere in France will also be cancelled, it added.

The impact is expected to be similar to the cancellations expected when the strike was still going ahead.

Earlier yesterday, the SNCTA union walked back a strike call, saying it had struck a deal for higher pay and other measures with the DGAC.

The union’s demands had come in response to a planned overhaul of French air-traffic control systems.

The DGAC said that despite the strike’s cancellation, the last-minute deal with the SNCTA and the need to finalise details with smaller unions meant there would still be disruptions.

It was unclear whether the two smaller unions which had also backed strike action would follow suit and call off the stoppage.

Includes reporting by © AFP 2024

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