Friday 28 July 2017

Air France strike ruins fans' hopes of making opener

A quarter of Air France pilots went on strike and the airline said this led to the cancellation of 20pc of its flights. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
A quarter of Air France pilots went on strike and the airline said this led to the cancellation of 20pc of its flights. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

Strike action by Air France pilots scuppered the plans of hundreds of supporters who were hoping to make Ireland's opening game.

A quarter of Air France pilots went on strike and the airline said this led to the cancellation of 20pc of its flights.

French air traffic controllers are to strike again today, disrupting Ryanair and Aer Lingus schedules.

Ryanair has been forced to cancel 44 flights to, from and over France, including FR1984 and FR1985 to/from Carcassone and Dublin while Aer Lingus has cancelled eight flights to and from Dublin.

One supporter had a surprise trip to Ireland's Euro 2016 clash with Sweden last night ruined by the strike.

Martin Whelan, from Co Meath, had been due to fly into Paris yesterday morning to surprise his father Denis (73), so that they could go to the game together.

He checked in for his flight early on Sunday morning only to receive a text from Air France a short time later, saying the flight had been cancelled.

He said: "The text was in French, so I couldn't even understand it. I had to go online and type it in to Google Translate so I could figure out what it meant.

"I'm devastated. It was supposed to be a surprise for my dad ahead of Father's Day. We always went to all the games, so I was really looking forward to this. It's a joke."

The notification came so late that Martin was unable to cancel his hotel booking and get his accommodation costs refunded.

Air France pilots are taking action because of planned pay cuts and changes to their working conditions.

It is one of the numerous industrial disputes causing huge issues in France as bodies want the government to scrap new labour laws that will make it easier to hire and fire people.

Irish Independent

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