Ryanair today called for the EU Commission to remove the "right to strike" from air traffic controllers (ATCs) saying it had been forced to cancel 1,400 flights this year due to industrial action
"So far in 2010, Ryanair has been forced to cancel 1,400 flights and delay over 12,000 other flights, disrupting over 2.5m passengers, as a direct result of Belgian, French and Spanish ATC strikes and work to rules," the airline said.
Ryanair called on the Commission to reform the EU261 passenger rights legislation which it said has "again been shown to be unfit for purpose" during last week’s ATC strikes in Belgium, France and Spain.
"Under EU261 regulations airlines suffer the costs of these disruptions without any recourse against those unions calling strikes or the EU Govts who own the ATCs," the airline said.
Ryanair will now take legal action again Belgocontrol following the wildcat strikes in Belgium last Tuesday, which caused the cancelation of over 90 Ryanair flights, disrupting over 15,000 passengers.
“How many more times will Europe’s airlines and their passengers be disrupted by unnecessary airspace closures, strikes and work to rules before the EU Commission finally takes some action?" Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said in Brussels.
"If these people don’t want to work, then replace them with military and other Air Traffic Controllers who do wish to work.
"The EU Commission must act to now end this ATC chaos."