Ryanair’s O’Leary warns summer air traffic control strikes will cause ‘crisis’ for millions of passengers

WARNING: O'Leary (inset) predicts strikes will cause chaos for millions of passengers WARNING: O'Leary (inset) predicts strikes will cause chaos for millions of passengers Shutterstock

RYANAIR’S Michael O’Leary has called for “urgent” actions against French air traffic control strikes that could cause chaos this summer.

The low-cost airline’s CEO says thousands of flights will be disrupted, especially during the peak months of July and August, unless the staffing crisis is addressed.

O’Leary said "yet again this weekend, French ATC will strike on Saturday and Sunday leading to hundreds of flights being cancelled, disrupting the holiday plans of thousands of passengers.

"Many of these flights don’t even touch France, yet they will be disruptive because French ATC requires airlines to cancel overflights while they protect French domestic routes.

"Europe’s airlines are also suffering thousands of ATC delays/cancellations because of staff shortages especially in German and UK ATC providers.

"Europe’s ATC providers are approaching the point of meltdown with hundreds of flights being cancelled daily, simply because they don’t have enough staff to deal with them."

Ryanair had to cancel 1,000 flights last month, as opposed to just 43 that it cancelled in May 2017.

The airline claims more than 117,000 flights were delayed in May and June, with 61 per cent due to the French air traffic control strikes.

They have been striking over pay freezes and changes to sick pay.

Jay Emeny

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