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Ryanair cancels 100 flights due to France air traffic control strike

Thousands of travellers have been affected after Ryanair was forced to scrap almost 100 flights due to the latest strike by French air traffic control (ATC) staff today.

The low-cost airline branded the situation “inexplicable”, blaming the European Commission for failing to “protect EU passengers’ freedom of movement” during the ongoing industrial action, which coincides with the commemoration of the D-Day landings.

Ryanair is the only airline that flies from the UK to Paris Beauvais Airport, which is actually more than 40 miles outside of the French capital and served by budget carriers.

Affected flights from the UK today include those from Leeds, Birmingham and Edinburgh, plus a flight departing Beauvais and heading to Leeds.

Describing the situation as “unfair”, Ryanair is calling for France and all EU states to protect flights during air traffic control strikes.

“It is inexplicable that Ursula von der Leyen and the EU Commission have failed to take action to protect EU passengers’ Freedom of Movement during these repeated French ATC strikes,” a Ryanair spokesperson said.

“As a result, we have been forced to cancel almost 100 flight to/from Paris Beauvais Airport [today], unfairly disrupting thousands of EU passengers’ travel plans at short notice.

“EU passengers are sick and tired of suffering unnecessary cancellations during ATC strikes. The EU Commission must now act upon ‘Ryanair’s Protect Passengers – Keep EU Skies Open’ petition of more than 2.1m EU passengers’ signatures which Ryanair delivered directly to the EU Commission offices in May, September and January last.

“There is no excuse for EU passengers to bear the burden of national ATC strikes that are completely unrelated to them and its time that Ursula von der Leyen and the EU Commission do something about it.”

Aviation workers in France are also planning further strikes throughout June, which will again disrupt holidays.

Today’s walkout is the 84th day of strikes since 2023.

In April, Ryanair cancelled more than 300 flights due to a similar ATC strike. Several other airlines were also forced to amend their schedules.

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

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

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