By John Ensor •
Updated: 21 Nov 2023 • 13:57
Stock image of Ryanair aircraft.
Ryanair has released a crucial update for British and European travellers revealing that a series of flight cancellations have been unavoidable but stressed there is something the public can do to help.
On Monday, November 20, Ryanair announced that due to a strike by French air traffic control (ATC) workers, they had to cancel numerous flights, primarily affecting routes over France.
The strike action has significantly disrupted travel plans, with British travellers being among those most affected.
‘Due to the French air traffic control strike on Monday, November 20, we have been forced to cancel a number of flights mainly overflying France,’ stated Ryanair in a press release.
Yesterday flights to and from Valencia were badly affected by the French industrial action. Travellers impacted by the cancellations were informed about their options, which include rescheduling their flights or receiving a full refund.
Ryanair is urging the European Union Commission to intervene swiftly to safeguard flights during such strikes. The airline pointed out a stark increase in air traffic control (ATC) strike days in 2023, totalling 64, a more than 13-fold rise from 2022.
These strikes have led to the cancellation of thousands of flights across the European Union, including Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland, and the UK. Particularly concerning is the practice in France of implementing Minimum Service Laws to protect local flights, which Ryanair deems unfair.
Ryanair took to Facebook to post a brief breakdown of the problems they have encountered this year: ‘Today we’re suffering the 64th day of French Air Traffic Control strike.’
Ryanair Group CEO, Michael O’Leary said he had no problem with French ATC going on strike, ‘but when they go on strike, France should be required to use minimum service legislation. He added that this was, ‘to protect over-flights as they already do in Spain, as they do in Italy, as they do in Greece.’
The airline is encouraging passengers to back its petition, which advocates for the protection of overflights during strike actions. This petition has already garnered over two million signatures.
Despite apologising for the inconvenience, Ryanair emphasised that these disruptions are beyond its control.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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