Ryanair Calls on EU to Finally Take Action as French ATC Unions Announce 4 More Strike Days. Customers Urged to Sign ‘Keep Europe’s Skies Open’ Online Petition Ahead of A Summer Of Disruption

25 May 2016

Ryanair, Europe’s No 1 airline, today (25 May) called on the European Commission to take action to prevent the skies over Europe being closed yet again by French ATC unions, who have announced 4 further days of unjustified strike action over the next fortnight.

Ryanair regrets that it has been forced to cancel over 70 flights on Thursday (26 May), to/from and over France, with further delays likely, in what will be the 47th French strike since 2009, and 6th in 2 months.

French ATC unions have announced further strikes on 3rd, 4th and 5th June, which will result in thousands of flights being affected across Europe, disrupting millions of passengers.

This unjustified strike action demonstrates how a tiny French union can once more hold Europe’s skies to ransom with thousands of flights from the UK, Ireland, Spain and Italy – none of which either take off or land in France – cancelled and hundreds of thousands of passengers’ travel plans again disrupted.

Ryanair and other EU airlines have repeatedly called upon the Commission to introduce two simple measures which would alleviate the impact of such of ATC strikes on consumers as follows:

(a)    require French ATC unions to engage in binding arbitration instead of strikes to resolve their claims, or


(b) allow Europe’s other ATCs to operate overflights over France while ATC unions are on strike.

Ryanair advised customers travelling on Thursday to check the status of their flight on the Ryanair.com website before travelling to the airport and urged all those affected to sign its Keep Europe’s Skies Open petition, which it will present to the European Commission once it accrues a million signatures.

Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said:

“It beggars belief that French ATC unions can announce 4 more strike days, starting tomorrow, with millions of customers set to be affected over the next fortnight. Once more Europe’s consumers are being held to ransom by these tiny French ATC unions, causing hundreds of thousands of passenger flights to be cancelled or delayed, while the European Commission and French Government sit back and do nothing.   

As we approach the peak holiday season, European travellers should prepare for a summer of discontent as there is absolutely nothing preventing these selfish unions from staging even more strikes in the coming weeks and months. Indeed, those travelling to the European Championships should prepare themselves for potential disruption also.

We urge every disrupted customer to sign up to Ryanair’s petition, www.KeepEuropesSkiesOpen.com, and when we gather one million signatures, we will present this petition to the European Commission to force it to finally take necessary action.”

For full flight information:

https://www.ryanair.com/ie/en/useful-info/help-centre/travel-updates/air-traffic-control-strike-france0