Wednesday 24 October 2018

Over 100 flights cancelled this weekend as latest French strikes hit Irish holidaymakers

French Air Traffic Controllers are striking again this weekend, throwing holiday plans into disarray

Ryanair and Aer Lingus planes. Photo: PA (Stock)
Ryanair and Aer Lingus planes. Photo: PA (Stock)
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

A new wave of strikes by French Air Traffic Controllers is threatening the holiday plans of passengers across Europe this weekend.

Ryanair expects to cancel up to 100 flights this weekend, it says, including its Dublin to Nice return services on Saturday and Sunday.

Aer Lingus has also cancelled four flights tomorrow (Saturday), with a "significant" risk of additional cancellations or delays, it says.

The strikes come during the peak summer travel season.

Nice, Marseilles and Lyon are the affected airports, but Air Traffic Controller strikes have previously affected routes passing through French airspace to other destinations, including Spain and Portugal.

All affected passengers have been contacted by email and text message and advised of their options, the airlines have said.

What happens if my flights are cancelled?

Airline passengers whose flights are cancelled are entitled to a full refund, rebooking onto the next available flight, or rebooking onto an alternative route.

Read more: What are my rights if my flights are cancelled?

Aer Lingus has also taken the pre-emptive step of offering those travelling to the affected airports this weekend the option of changing their flight free-of-charge to a later date (via aerlingus.com or 01 886-8989).

An 'alarming increase' in strikes

French Air Traffic Controllers have been striking with increasing regularity, with "an alarming increase" now running 300pc above 2017, according to a recent statement by the airline association Airlines for Europe (A4E).

Over 5,000 flights have been cancelled due to strikes this year, it says, affecting over 780,000 passengers - with many more impacted by delays.

Ryanair has called for "immediate EU Commission action to prevent more ATC strikes and staff shortages disrupting the travel plans of Europe’s consumers this summer," with a consumer petition open at keepeuropesskiesopen.com.

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