Saturday 22 July 2017

Travel chaos affects 1,000 Irish passengers

Aideen Sheehan and Anne-Marie Walsh

AROUND 1,000 passengers to and from Ireland were affected by French travel chaos yesterday.

And Aer Lingus passengers could face further disruption today due to a homegrown industrial dispute.

Normal flight services between Ireland and France are expected to resume today after yesterday's general strike led to eight flights being cancelled.

But passengers at home could face some disruption as Aer Lingus cabin crew escalate their work-to-rule.

The IMPACT union last night issued instructions to further restrict their working arrangements, but claimed it was unlikely to disrupt flights.

The union told staff to refuse to work outside the rules for 'on call' duties, which mean only working 10 hours during the day and nine at night. The union said the company could only change rostered duties within specific time limitations, while crew could not be moved from short- to long-haul flights.

Meanwhile, half a million people took to the streets in France yesterday as part of a sixth day of action against plans to raise the retirement age.

Ryanair said 700 passengers wishing to travel to or from Ireland were affected as four flights between Dublin and Nice and Rodez were cancelled. Two flights between Knock and Reus (Barcelona) were also cancelled.

Across Europe over 37,000 Ryanair passengers were affected, but a spokesman said they expected a full schedule today, though there might be some knock-on delays.

Aer Lingus said they had cancelled two flights between Dublin and Paris Charles de Gaulle but most passengers had been given a day's warning and they were able to rebook many of them on alternative flights.

Meanwhile, some lorry drivers travelling between France and Ireland were forced to detour to the Netherlands or Belgium to refuel as over 4,000 petrol stations ran out fuel.

The Irish Road Haulage Association said most drivers had been able to carry extra fuel or take an alternative route.

Irish Independent

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