French air traffic controllers’ strike causes disruption at Stansted
15:07 24 June 2014
Passengers at Stansted Airport have been disrupted by an air traffic controllers’ strike in France which has led to flight cancellations.
Ryanair and Easyjet are among the airlines affected by the industrial action, expected to last until Monday, which is in protest against budget cuts.
Airports across the UK and Europe have experienced disruptions as a result of the walkout. Air traffic management firm Eurocontrol said there would be 14,000 hours of delays during the six-day strike.
A Ryanair spokesman said the disruptions had been “more severe than predicted”. So far today (Tuesday), the airline has had to cancel 200 flights, including services to and from Stansted, Bristol, Edinburgh, Dublin and Liverpool airports.
The spokesman added: “Delays of up to six hours are now being allocated to Ryanair flights operating to/from France, and also flying over France.
“We expect that these delays will continue to build through the afternoon and early evening as the backlog of delayed flights rises.
“In order to minimise disruptions on the rest of our network Ryanair has been forced regrettably to cancel up to 200 flights which is approximately 12 per cent of Ryanair’s total schedule of over 1,600 flights today.
“Ryanair apologises sincerely for any delays or inconvenience caused to our customers by this unnecessary and regrettable French ATC strike.”
In addition, Ryanair has cancelled around 15 per cent of its flights tomorrow (Wednesday) when delays are expected to be “materially worse”.
Flights to and from France and Spain are likely to be the worst affected.
All passengers affected by tomorrow’s 250 flight cancellations will be contacted by email or text message later today and offered a choice of a later flight or full refund.
Passengers due to fly this week have been told to check the status of their flight with their airline.
Stansted Airport tweeted: “The current French ATC strike is expected to continue until 30 June 04:00hrs (UK time) so check airline website if due to fly before then.”