French air controller strike sparks chaos here
HUNDREDS of holidaymakers had their travel plans thrown into chaos following a strike by French air traffic controllers.
Ryanair, Aer Lingus and CityJet were forced to cancel dozens of flights from Dublin and Cork after controllers downed tools in protest at plans to create regional air traffic control sectors across the EU.
But it is understood that controllers will resume working from 6am, allowing airlines to resume normal operations.
Aer Lingus said it had cancelled eight flights, and had experienced delays across European services because of the strike. About 1,000 passengers were affected, and the airline was attempting to book them on to the next available flights.
Ryanair said it had cancelled 200 flights on Tuesday, and 400 yesterday, including 22 round trips from Dublin, two in Shannon and four from Cork. The flights were largely travelling to France and Spain, with Spanish flights affected because many passed through French airspace.
The airline warned that further disruptions could occur today, and that it would not be possible to accommodate some passengers on alternative flights.
"About one-third of all Ryanair flights were affected between delays and cancellations, but passengers can get a refund," a spokesman said.
"There's going to be some tailbacks and knock-on effects. We only have 303 aircraft and flights are set. We simply don't have empty planes. This has been a nightmare for airlines and passengers alike."
Some 1,800 flights were cancelled in France, about half the total, and there were fears that air traffic controllers in 11 countries would take part, but the action was limited to France.
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) advised passengers to contact their airlines directly for more information.
The row centres on plans by the EU to form regional blocs for air traffic control across Europe.