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Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Ryanair cancels 74 flights across Europe due to French air traffic control strike

Just two flights in and out of Ireland with the airline are affected.
May 19th 2016, 6:15 AM 30,359 51

THOUSANDS OF EUROPEAN passengers will have their travel plans disrupted today due to a strike by French air traffic controllers.

Ryanair has cancelled 74 flights across Europe as a result of the strike, which it said is the 46th French air traffic control strike since 2009.

Just two Ryanair flight cancellations affect passengers flying in and out of Ireland, with flights between Dublin and Carcassonne cancelled.

A full list of cancelled flights can be viewed here.

“Ryanair sincerely apologises for any inconvenience caused by these unjustified ATC disruptions which are entirely outside of our control,” the airline said on its website, adding all cancelled flights would be refunded.

Ryanair has launched an EU wide online petition to prevent Europe’s consumers having their travel plans disrupted or holidays cancelled by tiny groups of Air Traffic Control (ATC) unions going on strike and closing skies over Europe.

A spokesman for Aer Lingus told TheJournal.ie it plans to operate its full schedule as normal.

“We are keeping the situation under review,” he said, adding all passengers will be notified if any issues arise.

Other airlines, including Air France and British Airways are also affected, with passengers urged to check with their airline for updates.

The striking union, which represents around one fifth of air traffic controllers, is campaigning against job cuts and the lack of investment in new technology.

Ryanair chief executive, Michael O’Leary, said this week that the airline looks to take a hit of up to €20 million on the back of the strikes as well as the terror attacks in Brussels.

O’Leary was scathing of the frequency and “cynical” timing of industrial action by air traffic controllers in France during peak holiday periods which, he said, caused untold inconvenience to passengers across Europe.

“The last strike ten days ago had nothing to do with air traffic controllers at all; they just don’t like the new social legislation being produced by the French government,“ he said.

“That’s fine but don’t strand everybody else across Europe,” he said, reiterating his call for a ban on air traffic controller strikes.

With additional reporting from© AFP

Read: Ryanair cancels dozens of flights due to French air traffic control strike

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Isabel Hayes

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