Wednesday, 14 September 2016


Ryanair and easyJet have cancelled dozens of flights as French air traffic controllers start their 14th strike this year.

Ryanair said it was "forced" to cancel 22 flights on Wednesday night and 72 which were set to go ahead on Thursday.

Meanwhile easyJet has axed 64 flights scheduled for Thursday, including 22 due to operate from or to the UK.

According to the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, the USAC-CGT union strike is set to end at 4am on Friday.

British Airways, which has also cancelled flights, said it would use larger aircraft where possible to help passengers to reach their destinations.

Airlines warned that a number of other flights could be delayed.

British Airways said that French air traffic control trade unions "are causing unnecessary frustration and disruption for customers".

A spokeswoman added: "We continue to urge the French government and the trade unions to resolve their issues so that customers can go on their holidays and business trips without these frequent threats of strike action hanging over them."

A Ryanair spokesperson said: "It's reprehensible that Europe's consumers repeatedly have their holiday and travel plans disrupted or cancelled by the selfish actions of ATC unions, who use strikes as a first weapon rather than a last resort.

Image Caption:French rail workers and air traffic controllers walk out during a strike in May

"This French ATC strike will impact hundreds of thousands of European consumers and throw their travel plans into chaos once more."

The industrial action comes after lobby group Airlines for Europe pressed the European Commission to take action to reduce the impact of air traffic controller strikes.

A4E has called for neighbouring countries to be allowed to carry out air traffic control in airspace affected by industrial action.


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