Travel chaos as Ryanair cancels hundreds of flights

Queen: Commentators discuss London travel

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Ryanair has cancelled 420 flights today, affecting 80,000 passengers. The cancellations are due to an air traffic control strike in France which is set to impact thousands of passengers on Friday September 19.

The budget airline has also cancelled flights that don’t land or take off in France, with many European destinations affected. 

Departures from UK airports to Spain, Italy, Portugal and Switzerland usually travel through French airspace.

Ryanair is now calling on the EU to mandate overflights when air traffic controllers take part in industrial action. 

Ryanair said: “It is inexplicable that thousands of European citizens/visitors will have their travel plans unfairly disrupted by yet another French air traffic control strike and that flights which overfly France are disrupted by France ATC strikes yet domestic French flights are protected by minimum service laws.

“Ryanair is once again calling for immediate EU action to prevent these French ATC strikes disrupting the travel plans of thousands of European citizens and visitors. 

Ryanair has said it has contacted affected passengers and advised them of their travelling rights. 

Anyone affected is entitled to be flown to their destination as soon as possible on an available flight. 

British Airways and easyJet have also axed flights due to the travel chaos with destinations such as Paris, Barcelona and Toulouse affected.

Air France has said it still expects to operate 90 percent of its schedule but said delays and last-minute cancellations could not be ruled out. 

Passengers are advised to check the status of their flight before travelling to the airport as the chaos is likely to continue all day. 

The air traffic control strike is over working conditions and pay and more strikes are planned for later this month. 

Strike action will take place from September 28-30 if an agreement isn’t reached before then.

The Civil Aviation Authority in France, the DGAC, has advised passengers to postpone their travel if possible. 

easyJet told passengers that it expected disruption to its flying program and would inform passengers of cancellations. 

It apologised to passengers although said that the issue was beyond its control as an airline. 

Britons are already facing a difficult weekend of travel as thousands of people travel to honour the Queen.

Heathrow has cancelled some of its flights on Monday to avoid plane noise disrupting Her Majesty’s funeral. 

Manchester Airport has advised passengers that the airport is likely to be a lot busier than usual. 

Several train operators have also advised passengers to postpone travel if their journey isn’t urgent. 

Thousands of Britons have travelled to London to pay their respects to the Queen before her funeral on Monday.

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