Ryanair boss vents at EU as French ATC strikes force mass cancellations

Michael O'Leary, Ryanair CEO
By Harry Kemble
Home » Ryanair boss vents at EU as French ATC strikes force mass cancellations

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has posted a video on Twitter to explain why the airline had to cancel 400 flights because of strikes by French air traffic controllers.

The low-cost carrier pulled one in eight of its European flights on Tuesday (6 June) because of industrial action in France over pension reforms.

Ryanair has now axed more than 4,000 flights this year because of walkouts at airports.

In a video message on Twitter, Michael O’Leary said: “Again today we’ve had to cancel just about 400 flights out of the 3,200 flights we’d scheduled to operate.

“All of these flights have been cancelled because of French ATC strikes. The vast majority of these flights are overflights and not going to France.

“We respect the right of the French ATC union to strike but if they go on strike, it should be French domestic flights or local flights in France that get cancelled.

“They have alternatives. The French can take the TGV, they can take the motorways. But people flying across France are having their flights unnecessarily cancelled because the European Commission led by Ursula von der Leyen will not take action.”

Ryanair last week delivered its ‘Protect Overflights: Keep EU Skies Open’ petition to the EU Commission, having collected more than 1.1 million signatures from ‘fed-up’ passengers.

The petition demands the EU Commission protects overflights.

“It is utterly unacceptable that Ursula von der Leyen is ignoring more than 1.1 million passengers, who are sick and tired of having their overflights cancelled at short notice due to repeated ATC strikes,” said a Ryanair spokesperson.  

Ahead of this week’s strike action, the French Civil Aviation Authority asked all airlines to reduce flights to and from some airports in France.

EasyJet later confirmed it had cancelled 10 flights between the UK and France on Tuesday.

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