Five weeks ago, Ryanair launched a petition over the ongoing ATC strikes in France. It has surpassed over 600,000 signatures.
Dubbed “Protect Passengers: Keep EU Skies Open”, the petition calls on the EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to protect overflights during the French ATC strikes.
Ryanair has said that once the petition hits one million signatures, it will submit it to the EU Commission.
Ryanair’s Cancellation Numbers Are Staggering…
Ryanair was keen to mention statistics about how the airline has been affected by the ATC strikes in France.
In the first four months of 2023, there have been over 50 days of strike action, which is 10 times more than in all of 2022.
This has resulted in the cancellation of 3,700 flights, which has affected a whopping 666,000 passengers at short notice.
At the moment, France uses the Minimum Service Legislation to protect French domestic flights, while overflights from Germany, Spain, Italy, the UK, and Ireland get canceled as a result.
Airline Spokesperson Overwhelmed by Support…
Commenting on the incredibly strong support, the petition has received, a Ryanair spokesperson said the following on this milestone:
“We are overwhelmed by the support for our Protect Passengers: Keep EU Skies Open petition with over 600,000 signatures already from passengers calling on EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to take immediate action to protect their Freedom of Movement and overflights by keeping EU skies open during repeated French ATC strikes.”
“We are rapidly approaching the 1 million signatures we need to force the EU Commission to take action to protect overflights and EU citizens’ Freedom of Movement.”
“French ATC strikes are the No.1 risk to EU citizens’ travel plans this Summer and passengers are really starting to understand that the EU Commission is doing nothing to mitigate that risk and protect their Freedom of Movement.”
“EU citizens are now signing our petition to demand action from the EU Commission to protect them and their family’s travel plans this Summer.”
“The EU’s Single Market for air travel should not be repeatedly disrupted by tiny French ATC unions because the EU Commission fails to take action.”
“It’s time to protect overflights during French ATC strikes as Italy and Greece already do. If French ATC unions insist to strike (as is their right), then cancel French flights and protect overflights.”
It remains clear that this petition has most definitely caught the attention of passengers all across Europe.
All eyes will be on Ryanair to see when it will get to one million signatures, with the accrual of over 600,000 in five weeks being an astonishing milestone already.
What will also be interesting is the response that the EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will give to this, and whether any lobbying to the French Government will be made or not.
For now, the ball is still in Ryanair’s court.