Friday 24 November 2017

Ryanair launches online campaign to try and prevent French air-traffic controllers strike

Ryanair signalled a dramatic overhaul in its corporate culture last year
Ryanair signalled a dramatic overhaul in its corporate culture last year

Paul O'Donoghue

Ryanair has launched an EU wide online petition to try and prevent French airline workers from going on strike from tomorrow.

France’s largest air traffic controller union, the SNCTA, has announced a 48 hour strike beginning at dawn tomorrow.

The industrial action is motivated by a desire to improve salaries and working conditions. The union has several issues it is looking to have addressed including the retirement age of controllers born between 1959 and 1964 and what it calls the “gradual deterioration of conditions of air traffic controllers.”

Unions are also complaining of a rise in air traffic but a drop in the number of controllers.

Many of Europe’s leading airlines have spoken out against the strike, which is set to cost them millions of euros in lost revenue and extra costs looking after passengers.

The strike could cause issues not just for people flying to and from France, but also anywhere from Italy to Portugal as those flights normally cross French airspace.

Ryanair, which has repeatedly called on the European Commission and European Parliament to take action to prevent ATC strikes, is now asking people to sign an online petition to support its view that the strikes should be cancelled.

Ryanair’s chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said: “It's unacceptable that Europe’s consumers repeatedly have their holiday and travel plans disrupted or cancelled by the selfish actions of ATC unions every summer, who use strikes as a first weapon rather than a last resort.

“French ATC unions will again stage three further days of strikes this week, which will impact hundreds of thousands of European consumers. It is particularly reprehensible that these strikes are taking place at the height of the peak summer season, deliberately targeting holiday makers and families.”

The airline has now launched an online petition which it says will allow consumers to “support our online petition calling on the European Commission and European Parliament to either remove the ATC unions’ right to strike, or allow other European ATCs to operate French or Spanish airspace during these repeated strikes.”

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