Ryanair has called on the European Commission to take urgent action to protect overflights on the back of another French air traffic controller (ATC) strike, which ran from Monday evening until this morning.
Ryanair said the EU Commission, under Ursula von der Leyen, has repeatedly failed to protect Europe’s single market for air travel by allowing flights overflying France to be “hijacked” time after time by “tiny French ATC unions who close the skies over France for EU passengers travelling to/from countries outside France while protecting the flights of French citizens and French domestic flights.”
Hundreds of thousands of airline passengers were delayed last summer due to French ATC strikes, a problem which could easily be resolved with intervention by the EU Commission to protect overflights when ATC in individual member states go on strike, as already happens in Greece and Italy, and stop the unnecessary disruption to EU passengers last Summer being repeated in Summer 2023, accordsing to Ryanair.
The airline also confirmed that it was forced to cancel a small number of flights to/from France this week as a result of this ATC strike.
Ryanair’s Neal McMahon said: “It is inexplicable that the EU Commission continues to sit on their hands and ignore the widespread impact that these French ATC strikes have on EU passengers who are not even travelling to/from France, while the French government use their minimum services policy to protect French domestic flights for French citizens.
“Ryanair once again calls on the EU Commission under Ursula Von Der Leyen to take immediate action to protect European citizens travelling from the likes of Ireland, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the UK whose travel plans will be needlessly disrupted…due to the EU Commission’s repeated inaction to protect overflights when French ATC go on strike.
“Protecting overflights during ATC strikes in individual member states, as they do in Greece and Italy, is the most simple and effective solution to avoid unnecessary mass disruption and should be immediately implemented by the EU Commission to prevent the needless disruption of ATC strikes last summer being repeated in Summer ’23.”