Ryanair has asked the European Commission to take urgent measures to protect overflights and the freedom of movement of EU citizens during the strike of French air traffic controllers, scheduled for Monday 20 November.
Some trade unions are protesting against the recent adoption by the French Parliament of a bill requiring air traffic controllers to declare whether they are on strike or not 48 hours in advance. The French civil aviation authority therefore asked airlines on Thursday to cancel between 20% and 25% of their flight schedules at Paris-Orly, Toulouse-Blagnac, Bordeaux-Mrignac and Marseille-Provence for this Monday .
The authority also warned that the operation of en route air navigation centres, which manage the flight paths of aircraft flying over the country, will be affected, potentially forcing flights to bypass France. Given the geographical position of France, the multiple days of strike by French air traffic controllers since the beginning of the year have forced airlines to cancel thousands of EU overflights from Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland and the UK, while France in particular uses minimum service laws to protect French flights, Ryanair said in a statement.
unfair. France (and all other EU states) should protect overflights during air traffic controller strikes, as happens in Spain, Italy and Greece, and cancel flights to/from the affected state, the airline added Irish low-cost carrier, the main European carrier in terms of number of passengers.
Ryanair, which regularly targets French air traffic control, had already made a similar appeal to the European Commission earlier this year.
The national union of air traffic controllers (Sncta), the majority union in the sector, did not join the strike. In an interview given to Radio J On Sunday, on the eve of the strike, Transport Minister Clment Beaune said that the new 48-hour notice law will be promulgated in the next few days and that its full implementation is a matter of a few weeks.
It would not be a bad idea to introduce a similar law also in the Italian public transport sector, including local transport, to allow better planning for both companies and users.
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