As Cork Airport celebrated a year-round link to Paris, Ryanair has been forced to cancel several flights today due to a strike by French air traffic controllers.
The disruption to Ryanair services comes as Air France credited strong advance ticket sales for its decision to extend its proposed Cork to Paris summer air link to a year-round service even before the first flight takes off.
Air France announced plans in January to launch the Cork-Paris/Charles de Gaulle route on May 26, originally scheduled to run right through the summer season only, finishing on October 27.
However, the airline confirmed yesterday that thanks to “positive forward bookings” the route has been extended to a yearly service.
The link will provide outbound passengers with onward connections to some 180 destinations worldwide.
Cork Airport’s managing director Niall MacCarthy said the decision signals “outstanding confidence in the metropolitan city region” served by Cork Airport to sustain and grow new routes and services.
All flights will be operated by Air France Hop! using an Embraer 170 aircraft which can carry up to 76 passengers. Fares start from €129 return.
The 110-minute flight will depart Cork daily at 4.30pm and arrive in Paris at 7.20pm, local time, with the return flight departing at 2.55pm, local time, and arriving at Cork at 3.50pm.
Meanwhile, Ryanair has urged the French government and European Commission to act immediately to prevent the closure of Europe’s skies again today by French air traffic control (ATC) unions.
Ryanair said the strike has forced it to cancel flights to, from and over France today. It said more cancellations are possible and delays are likely.
Ryanair said it and other EU airlines have repeatedly called on the commission to introduce simple measures which would alleviate the impact of frequent ATC strikes on the travelling public, including a requirement on French ATC unions to engage in binding arbitration instead of strikes.
Spokesman Kenny Jacobs urged consumers to sign the A4E online petition, Keep Europe’s Skies Open, to “help protect Europe from repeated disruption by ATC unions”.
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