Ryanair cancels flights due to French air traffic control strike

Tuesday 24 June 2014 06.11
Ryanair says that customers affected will be contacted by phone or email
Ryanair says that customers affected will be contacted by phone or email

Ryanair has cancelled a number of flights to and from France tomorrow due to a strike by French air traffic controllers.

The list of cancellations can be found on the airline's website.

Ryanair says that customers affected will be contacted by phone or email and the carrier is asking customers to check its website for further updates.

Meanwhile, Aer Lingus has said it plans to operate a full schedule of flights with some delays.

France is braced for travel chaos after the country's civil aviation body urged airlines today to cut flights by up to 20% in Paris and some other cities due to the strike.

The six-day strike called by a leading trade union is due to start tomorrow.

The civil aviation agency said three-quarters of flights would be operational on average.

"Flights to southern France, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria leaving from Paris" would be slightly less affected, with services reduced by 20%.

It asked airlines to slash flights by 20% in airports in southern France to ease the pressure.

The strike comes in the midst of the peak tourist season in a nation that attracts more foreign visitors than any other country in the world.

It follows a rail protest that affected services to foreign countries as well as domestically, and is still continuing in some areas.

The two biggest air controllers' unions, SNCTA and Unsa-ICNA, had both arranged to strike for six days from tomorrow, warning of "heavy disruption", but the SNCTA later called off its action.

The strike comes ahead of a 30 June deadline for France to present its budget plans for the sector over the next five years to Brussels.

The strikers are protesting against planned cuts between 2015 and 2019 that they say will threaten the "necessary performance and modernisation needed to ensure an efficient air navigation service in France".

The cuts form part of a European Commission plan, called Single Sky Europe, to reduce air navigation costs by organising airspace into functional blocks, according to traffic flows rather than national borders.

The strikers argue that the move will lead to a "forced low-cost" ethos in air traffic.