Ryanair passengers face more chaos over French air dispute

Chloe McCauley, Nathan Corcoran and Megan Corcoran at Dublin Airport. Their flight to Murcia was cancelled due to the strike by French air traffic controllers. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Chloe McCauley, Nathan Corcoran and Megan Corcoran at Dublin Airport. Their flight to Murcia was cancelled due to the strike by French air traffic controllers. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The travel chaos caused by the French air traffic controllers strike is set worsen further today, with Ryanair predicting it will have to cancel the flights of thousands more of its Irish passengers.

Eighteen flights to and from Dublin airport are to be cancelled, as are six flights to and from Cork and two in and out of Shannon.

Yesterday the airline grounded up to 200, or 12%, of its 1,600 flights across Europe due to the strike.

Among the cancellations were 24 flights into and out of Dublin and two each into and out of Cork and Shannon and four into and out of Knock Airport.

As well as France, the cancellations affected flights to and from Spain and other countries due to the need to fly through French air space.

For those flights which did operate, Ryanair said delays of up to six hours were being allocated to its planes operating to/from France, and also flying over France.

Last night, the airline predicted it would have to cancel 250 flights today.

“French air traffic controllers are predicting that slot delays will be “materially worse” on Wednesday,” it said. “The French authorities have requested Ryanair to cancel up to 20% of our flight programme for Wednesday, in order to ease the pressure on French ATC services. As we wish to minimise delays and disruptions for our customers we have decided to cancel approximately 15% of our scheduled flights on Wednesday, which will principally affect flights operating to/from France and Spain.”

It said passengers due to fly on the affected service were to be contacted by email and SMS last night and offered a choice of re-accommodation on later flights or full refunds.

Aer Lingus said it had not been forced to cancel any flights, though passengers were experiencing lengthy delays, particularly travelling to and from the Iberian peninsula, southern France and the Canary Islands.

It said it had been informed of planned industrial action today by air traffic controllers in France and Belgium.

“We currently plan to operate our full schedule of flights,” it said. “However, customers can expect delays to some flights. Flights most likely to be affected by delays include Benelux, the Iberian Peninsula and southern France. Flights to other destinations may also be impacted by delays.

“We will update customers via email, SMS messaging, social media channels and on aerlingus.com should the situation change.”

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