Photo by Chris Karidis on Unsplash
Photo by Chris Karidis on Unsplash

Massive flight disruption at French airports | Flights across Europe grounded | Ryanair cancels over 300 flights


Up to three quarters of flights were cancelled at major French airports today (25 April), despite the cancellation of a planned strike by air traffic controllers.

Around 2,000 flights are expected to be cancelled during the day today, while another 1,000 will face delays.

The French civil aviation authority DGAC said on Wednesday it had asked airlines to cancel 75 percent of Thursday’s flights at Paris Orly airport, 55 percent of flights at Paris Charles-De-Gaulle airport and 65 percent of flights at Marseille.

Air traffic control strikes in France often affect travel in Europe, restricting not only flights to France, but also throughout the country’s airspace.

Ryanair had warned it would have to cancel more than 300 flights, including from Britain to Spain or Italy, as a result of Thursday’s strikes, increasing pressure on European Union officials to put more pressure on France to limit the impact of the labour unrest.

“French air traffic controllers are free to strike, that is their right, but we should be cancelling French flights, not flights leaving Ireland and heading to Italy or flights from Germany to Spain or from Scandinavia to Portugal,” Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said in a statement on Wednesday.

The cancellations came even after SNCTA, France’s largest air traffic controllers’ union, announced that it was calling off its April 25 strike after reaching an agreement with management on working conditions.

The agreement came too late to avoid traffic disruptions and discussions had not yet been concluded with other unions, the DGAC said.

“While the withdrawal of the strike notice may offer some relief to some passengers, its last-minute nature means there will still be significant disruption to flights in France and parts of Europe,” said Urania Georgoutsakou, head of industry group Airlines for Europe (A4E), on Wednesday.

According to A4E, 16,000 flights were cancelled and 85,000 delayed last year due to air traffic control strikes in Europe.

Airline officials have also expressed concerns that air traffic control strikes could endanger the Paris Olympics if adequate agreements are not reached in advance.

With over a million travellers expected to pass through Paris during the Games, the strikes could cause even more disruption.

Leave A Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *