Ryanair has had to cancel 110 flights over the last three days due to the continued strike action by Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) in France.
It is understood that across the 110 flights, 18,000 passengers were impacted by cancellations.
The Irish low-cost carrier, especially the CEO Michael O’Leary, has applied more pressure on the European Commission in a bid for overflights to be protected by this action.
O’Leary also mentioned that over 1,000 flights were impacted by some form of delay over the course of the strike action.
In the video below, this is what CEO O’Leary had to say about the action:
Ryanair Launches A Petition To Stop France’s ATC Strikes…
Ryanair has also launched a petition on Change.org calling on the EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen to “protect overflights and keep EU skies open during ATC strikes”.
The description of the petition reads:
“Ryanair calls on the EU Commission (Ursula von der Leyen) to protect overflights and keep EU skies open during ATC strikes.”
“Sign our petition and call on Commission President Von der Leyen to take action to protect flights from avoidable disruptions this summer.”
“Ryanair will submit this petition to the EU Commission with 1 million signatures and demand that they take action to protect European passengers and their families by keeping EU skies open during ATC strikes.”
Traffic Numbers Continue to Grow…
Despite the impact caused by the ATC strikes in France, Ryanair reported a 12% increase in its passenger numbers today for March 2023.
12.6 million passengers were handled by the low-cost carrier last month compared to 11.2 million in the same period last year.
Load factors on flights have increased by six percentage points to 93%, which highlights how full each Ryanair flight is on average.
For the rolling 12-month period, Ryanair’s numbers have increased by 74% to 168.6m, compared to 97.0m in the same period last year.
Load factors have also increased by 11 percentage points to 93% from 82%.
It remains clear that whilst Ryanair is performing well from the numbers perspective, the call-out from O’Leary over ATC strikes in France continues to affect the carrier.
From the financial point of view, it would mean that the Irish low-cost carrier would have to pay out for delays or cancellations.
Looking ahead, it is going to be interesting to see whether the European Commission will bow to such pressure from O’Leary, especially with the petition growing day by day. At the time of writing, it is at over 107,000 signatures.
With the current unrest ongoing in France at present, it is safe to say that this industrial action will continue to wreak havoc with operations across Europe.
For now, all eyes are on the European Commission as well as on O’Leary to see what else he is going to say on this from the mouthpiece of Ryanair.