Sack striking air traffic controllers, says Ryanair

Ryanair has today called for the EU to follow the example shown by Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s when he fired and replaced U.S Air Traffic Controllers after they went on strike.

The budget airline also confirmed that it will operate ‘hand baggage only’ flights to/from Spain on Wednesday of this week due to industrial action by air traffic control (ATC) providers.

It has also called on the EU Commission to take urgent action to prevent more ATC strikes and delays as European airlines and passengers suffer further disruption from Spanish ATC strikes this Wednesday.

The call comes after just one week after Ryanair was forced to cancel more than 250 flights due to strike action by French ATC.

Ryanair has condemned what it views as the failure of European governments to reform ATC services or to end ATC industrial action which have cancelled or delayed thousands of flights across Europe.

"National ATC providers should be deregulated and allowed to compete with each other in a system that will allow one country to manage the airspace of neighbouring countries to prevent flights being cancelled or delayed during industrial action," said a Ryanair statement.

Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said today: "Europe’s airlines and passengers have suffered at the hands of ATC providers all summer long and now, ahead of yet another Spanish ATC strike, Ryanair is calling on the EU to take action to prevent further strike action.

"Action must be taken at EU level to ensure that the ‘right to strike’ is removed from essential services such as ATC and competition must be introduced across Europe’s ATC providers to ensure that a strike in one country is not be allowed to disrupt million of passengers’ travel plans."

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