Ryanair called on the EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, to take urgent action to protect overflights and EU citizens’ freedom of movement during the French ATC strike taking place Mon, 20th Nov.
So far in 2023, there has been 65 days of ATC strikes (over 13 times more than in 2022) forcing airlines to cancel thousands of EU overflights from Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland, and the UK, while France in particular uses Minimum Service Laws to protect French flights. This is unfair. France (and all other EU states) should protect overflights during ATC strikes as they do in Spain, Italy and Greece, and cancel flights to/from the affected State.
A Ryanair spokesperson said: ‘It is completely unacceptable that there have been 65 days of ATC strikes this year (13 times more than in all of 2022) which have caused the cancellation of thousands of flights at short notice, unfairly disrupting EU passengers’ travel plans. Despite repeated calls on Ursula von der Leyen to protect passengers and overflights during these ATC strikes, she has failed to take any action to do so.
As a result, even more passengers will have their flights cancelled at short notice due to this French ATC strike on Mon, 20th Nov, despite not even flying to/from France. This is because France unfairly uses Minimum Service Laws to protect French flights while forcing cancellations on overflights from Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland, and the UK. We have no problem with French ATC unions exercising their right to strike, but the EU Commission should insist that cancellations due to French ATC strikes are allocated to French flights, not those overflying France en route to another unrelated EU destination.
EU passengers are sick and tired of suffering unnecessary overflight cancellations during ATC strikes, as evidenced by the 2m EU passenger signatures on our Protect Passengers – Keep EU Skies Openpetition calling on Ursula von der Leyen to protect overflights and keep EU skies open during ATC strikes. There is no excuse for EU passengers not flying to/from the affected member state to bear the burden of ATC strikes that are completely unrelated to them and Ursula von der Leyen must immediately put a stop to this or answer to the 2m passengers who she has failed to protect by offering her resignation.”