Ryanair condemn French traffic control strike as hundreds of passengers impacted through flight cancellations
Published 20/03/2016 | 17:32
Hundreds of passengers flying with Ryanair, easyJet and British Airways face flight cancellations over the next three days due to industrial action being carried out by French traffic control employees.
Ryanair has already cancelled seven flights due to depart from and arrive into Dublin Airport today.
The budget airline has also notified that another 13 scheduled flights will be grounded tomorrow due to the "unexpected strike".
A spokesperson for Ryanair has apologised for the disruption to passengers and are currently attempting to assist affected travellers.
The airline has condemned actions of the French ATC unions in a statement this evening.
"Due to yet another French ATC strike - the 41st such strike since 2009 - we regret we were forced to cancel a number of flights on Sunday, with further flights cancelled on Monday, and delays likely," Ryanair's Robin Kiely said.
"We sincerely apologise to all those affected by the unwarranted actions of these French ATC workers who continue to hold European consumers to ransom and we call on the French Government and EU Commission to take action to prevent any further disruptions.
"It’s grossly unfair that thousands of ordinary European consumers have their travel and holiday plans disrupted by the actions of a selfish few."
All affected customers have reportedly been contacted by email and SMS text message and advised of their options: a full refund, rebooking on to the next available flight or rebooking onto an alternative route.
Those travelling tomorrow have been advised to check the status of their flight on the Ryanair.com website before travelling to the airport.
Passengers travelling from Gatwick, Heathrow and Luton Airport to French airports are also likely to experience lengthy delays or cancellations as a result of the strikes.
A spokesman for easyJet confirmed that 82 flights were cancelled on Sunday as a result of the strikes, including 32 scheduled to take off or land at British airports.
He added: "We have been pro-actively informing affected customers, so they have the opportunity to reorganise their journeys.
"Affected customers can change their flight free of charge or receive a refund. We advise customers to make any amendments to their booking on the Manage my Bookings area of easyJet.com.
"As well as affecting flights to and from France, the strike action is causing delays to other flights which use French airspace.
"We recommend that all customers travelling on Sunday 20 and Monday 21 March 2016 check the status of their flight on our Flight Tracker page."
"Although this is outside of our control we would like to apologise to all our customers for any inconvenience and would like to reassure them we are doing all possible to minimise any disruption as a result of the industrial action"
British Airways refused to disclose how many flights would be affected by the strikes, but said it was doing "all we can to minimise disruption to customers affected."
A spokeswoman added that larger aircraft were now being used and some flights were being re-routed.
Luton Airport confirmed that flights to Amsterdam and Nimes had been affected by industrial action, adding that four flights had been delayed as a result of a "knock-on effect in the network".
Additional reporting from Agencies