French air traffic control again had consequences for Spanish flights

Unions in France are organizing a general strike on Tuesday, June 6, against pension reforms and the raising of the retirement age initiated by the French government. The new strike in France is also being followed by air traffic controllers, who are affected as flights to and from Spain often pass through French airspace.

Ryanair is one of the airlines directly affected by this new strike. Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary predicted “Summer is restless”Unless the French government takes action against striking air traffic controllers. “Without intervention, hundreds of thousands of travelers’ summer holidays are at risk of being affected” He warns.

This year (2023) French air traffic controllers have already had 57 outages, causing Ryanair to cancel 1,200 flights and preventing 216,000 passengers from reaching or leaving their destinations. In addition, more than 17,000 flights of Europe’s largest airline by passenger numbers were delayed.

On June 6, unions in France are planning another street protest against pension reforms implemented by President Emmanuel Macron. The impact of the strike since January 14 is already being felt on public transport in the country, French TV channel T1 reported, amid a campaign launched by French workers.

Eurocontrol, which manages the Air Traffic Management (ATM) network in Europe, was introduced Report On the consequences of the French strike and air traffic controllers who came within the general strike calls. According to the report, between March 1 and April 9, 2023, there were 34 days of protests in France, which mainly affected the country’s air traffic, but badly affected the whole of Europe, especially neighboring countries like Spain. , as well as the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany experienced significant delays and flight cancellations.

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The European ATM organization points out that the French strikes have affected more than 10 million passengers and led to the cancellation of 237,000 flights to or between the countries concerned. “By comparison, the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010 (April 15 to 22) caused more European airspace closures, leading to around 100,000 flight cancellations.” Eurocontrol says.

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