Ryanair appeals to the European Commission due to ongoing strikes in France

Ryanair appealed to the European Commission due to ongoing strikes in France

Continued strikes in France led to the cancellation of flights throughout Europe, French airspace is practically closed. The country's air traffic controllers have joined other unions and are participating in protests. Airlines call on the European Union to intervene.

Low-cost carrier Ryanair has asked the European Union Commission to protect flights flying over France. Due to strikes by the French Air Traffic Control (ATC), the company is facing hundreds of last-minute cancellations. The laws in force in France do not allow strikers to sabotage domestic flights, but flights flying over the country, for example, from London to Rome, are not protected.

The day before, on April 13, the airline issued a strong condemnation of the EU Commission, since in just three months France passed the 38th day of ATC strikes. Ryanair has slammed European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for her “inexcusable inability” to protect the fundamental right to freedom of movement that EU citizens are entitled to by irresponsibly allowing EU skies to be repeatedly closed during French ATC strikes.

The airline has confirmed that in the first three months of 2023 alone, around 627,000 Ryanair passengers were scheduled to fly on flights that had to be canceled urgently due to the French ATC strikes. A Ryanair spokesperson today reiterated the airline's call for action: “Today, French ATC is on strike for the 38th day in just 3 months, and thousands more EU passengers have unfairly canceled their trips without prior notice. While we do not deny the right of French trade unions to assert their civil rights, we expect President von der Leyen to do his job and protect the fundamental right of EU citizens and visitors to freedom of movement. 

The ongoing strikes have led to significant delays and cancellations of flights by European airlines. Ryanair is not alone in its situation. British Airways was recently forced to cancel 8% of its flights as many of the carrier's short-haul flights operate via France.

Last month, the low-cost carrier launched a petition demanding a policy to protect flights overflying France during ongoing nationwide strikes. The petition has already been signed by about 178,348 people. If you collect a million signatures from seven different EU countries, the Commission will be obliged to consider the issue formally.

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