A French air traffic control strike that took place in the month of March this year, ended up causing several hundred flight cancellations. Airlines gave a warning that passengers travelling from Italy or coming to Italy will have to face travel disruptions owing to the massive industrial action.
A4E (Airlines for Europe) sent out a warning that it could cancel over 500 flights throughout the day and there would likely be delays and a lot of rescheduling. These delays and cancellations also impacted other European flights.
European Airlines Suffer due to Strike
The air traffic control strike came only days after a week-long commotion in France and say several thousand European people and businesses suffer as victims of a local industrial action, yet again.
A4E pushed its request to get a petition signed from passengers that called for officials to take some action. Thomas Reynaert, A4E MD said that there were available solutions which would minimize the disruptive impact of these strikes and prevent travelers from suffering extensive losses. At the same time, these solutions did not pose any threat to the fundamental rights of controllers to go on strikes. Reyneart said that bold policymakers were needed to help implement these solutions.
Even though the French air traffic control strike wasn’t as severe as the former industrial action, but it did contribute to travel disruptions throughout the continent. Airlines such as British Airways, Ryan air and Easy Jet had to announce flight cancellations for the day while Flybe warned its customers to keep a constant track of live departure and arrival updates on its official website so as to avoid getting stuck.
Airlines Apologize to Travelers for Flight Disruptions
EasyJet ended up cancelling 58 flights while rescheduling 20 of them. These included six UK flight cancellations. A spokesperson from Easy Jet was reported saying that affected customers had the option to make changes to their flight, free of cost, or get a refund. He also said that though this situation was not in the control of the airlines, they would still make an apology for the inconvenience caused to the travelers. Further, the airline was doing everything possible to reduce the disruption caused by the industrial action.
What made matters worse was the fact that while there was already an air traffic control strike scheduled for March 20th, CUB Trasporti trade union also announced the confirmation of a day-long air transport strike.
A litalia released a statement on March 17th stating that it had no option but cancel almost 40 percent of its international and domestic flights and also increase capacity on certain routes owing to the ATC strike.
In the meanwhile, Ryan air had to cancel 74 flights. The airline announced that additional cancellations and delays were also on the charts. Like Easy Jet, Ryan air also apologized to its customers for the inconvenience caused by the unjustified air traffic control strike, even though it was completely out of its control.
British Airways also had to reschedule some flight taking off or arriving at Italy to avoid inconvenience caused by the strike.