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25th Apr 2024

Over 50,000 passengers affected as Ryanair cancel flights due to French strike

Stephen Porzio

Over 300 flights have been cancelled

Ryanair has said that it has cancelled more than 300 flights on Thursday (25 April) due to a French strike, with the scrapped flights affecting over 50,000 passengers.

In a video statement released on Wednesday evening, the airline CEO Michael O’Leary alerted people to the strike which involves French air traffic controllers and comes following a pay row between the workers’ unions and their employer – France’s civil aviation authority DGAC.

The cancellations are still happening despite the SNCTA, the biggest of the unions involved, coming to a deal with management and calling off the strike.

According to the DGAC, this agreement was reached too late to avoid the travel disruption.

“As a result of France’s failure to protect overflights, we look like we’re going to have to cancel more than 300 Ryanair flights tomorrow Thursday, probably affecting the flight plans, cancelling the flight plans of over 50,000 passengers,” O’Leary said.

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

“We continue to ask why France and the European Commission won’t protect overflights during French national ATC strikes.

“French air traffic controllers are free to go on strike, that’s their right. But we should be cancelling French flights, not flights leaving Ireland going to Italy or flights from Germany to Spain or flights from Scandinavia to Portugal.

“The European Commission under Ursula von der Leyen has failed for five years to take any action to protect overflights. We’re calling on her again tomorrow. Take some action, protect overflights and then we would eliminate 90% of these flight cancellations and flight disruptions.

“We can’t have the skies over Europe repeatedly closed because French air traffic controllers are going on strike.”

The Sun reports that the strikes have since been called off, but huge disruption is still anticipated.

Managing director of Airlines for Europe Ourania Georgoutsakou said: “While the withdrawing of strike notice may offer some relief for some passengers, its last-minute nature means that there will still be significant disruption to flights in France and across parts of Europe tomorrow.”

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