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Pension reform: strikes by French air traffic controllers exasperate European companies

2023-03-29T11:55:04.245Z


Last weekend, "Ryanair was forced to cancel 240 flights, or 41,000 passengers, because French air traffic control did not allow us to fly over France," the airline boss said on Wednesday.


Several leading European airlines on Wednesday expressed their exasperation with strikes by French air traffic controllers which they say are costing them dearly by causing delays and cancellations, and called on the European Commission to intervene.

Air traffic controllers participate in the challenge of the pension reform in France, forcing the administration to cancel part of the movements departing from or arriving at airports, but also to reduce the number of flights that can pass through space country air.

During the first three months of last year, there were three days of strike by French air traffic controllers.

Since the beginning of the year, we are at 23. And it continues

”, launched the boss of the airline “

low cost

” (low cost) Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, on behalf of the association “

Airlines for Europe

” (A4E) meeting in a symposium in Brussels.

Given the geographical position of France, these strikes have cascading effects on all European air traffic: "

Britons going to Spain, Germans to Portugal, Irish to Italy

", illustrated Michael O'Leary.

Last weekend alone, "

Ryanair was forced to cancel 240 flights, or 41,000 passengers, because French air traffic control did not allow us to fly over France

," the businessman said.

Some 400,000 low-cost passengers were delayed, he said.

"

We are very seriously affected, and we do not see when this (the strike) will stop

", added Johan Lundgren, boss of another low cost, Easyjet, also at A4E.

Read alsoRyanair wants to break the air traffic controllers' strike

Imposing flight protection in the event of an air traffic controller strike

European regulations require airlines to compensate passengers in the event of long delays or cancellations, recalled the manager of Ryanair, the largest European company in terms of number of passengers.

But we are not authorized to recover these sums from the people who cause these delays or cancellations, the French air traffic controllers, who benefit from immunity from their government

”, complained the boss of Ryanair.

A4E, which federates 16 airline companies or groups, including Air France-KLM, Lufthansa and IAG (British Airways, Iberia, etc.), is calling on the European Commission to impose protection for overflights in the event of a strike by air traffic controllers, a measure that already exists for example in Italy, according to Michael O'Leary.

More broadly, for the coming summer season, companies, which are facing reinvigorated demand after Covid-19, have expressed concern about saturation of European airspace, already weakened by war-related closures. in Ukraine.

Source: lefigaro

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