Thursday 18 December 2014

Disruption to flights likely to last until Sunday

Published 25/06/2014 | 02:30

People queue at the Ryanair desk at Dublin airport trying to find out if their flights were affected due to the French air traffic controllers strike. Picture: Damien Eagers
People queue at the Ryanair desk at Dublin airport trying to find out if their flights were affected due to the French air traffic controllers strike. Picture: Damien Eagers
A couple at the Ryanair desk at Dublin airport trying to find out if their flights were affected due to the French airtraffic controllers strike. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 24/6/2014
Breda and Shay McCrory, from finglas at Dublin Airport, their flights to Alicante, Spain, was cancalled due to the French airtraffic controllers strike. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 24/6/2014
Kirsty Morrow, 17, from belfast waits at Dublin airport after her flight to Lisbon was delayed due to the French airtraffic controllers strike. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 24/6/2014

Anyone planning to fly to France between now and Sunday, or on a route that involves flying through French airspace, runs the risk that their flight could be delayed or cancelled.

Air traffic controllers are staging strikes in a dispute over cuts and closer integration with the rest of Europe.

The rolling sequence of strikes began yesterday and is due to continue until Sunday.

Standard practice is to inform the airlines of "mandated cancellations" for the following day – i.e. ordering them to axe a certain proportion of departures.

Cancellations are not mandated for flights that normally simply overfly France, but they could still be affected.

Flights to and from two holiday favourites, Portugal and Spain, are worst hit, but travellers to destinations in south-eastern Europe, including Italy and south-west Greece are also at risk of disruption.

Airlines will seek to route flights to these areas around the north of France, but this puts pressure on the already crowded skies of Belgium, Germany and Switzerland.

As the conflict rumbles on, it is the traveller who suffers in terms of disruption, and the airlines that are hit financially.

Independent News Service

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