Ryanair confirmed that it will operate ‘hand baggage only’ flights to/from Spain on Wednesday 29th September as it called on the EU Commission to take urgent action to prevent more ATC strikes and delays as European airlines and passengers suffer further disruption from Spanish ATC strikes this Wednesday (29th Sept), just one week after Ryanair was forced to cancel over 250 flights due to strike action by French ATC.
Ryanair condemned the failure of European Governments to reform ATC services or to end these repeated ATC strikes, no shows, and work to rules which have cancelled or delayed thousands of flights for millions of passengers across Europe.
Ryanair called for the EU to follow the example shown by Ronald Reagan in the early 1980’s when he fired and replaced U.S. Air Traffic Controllers after they went on strike. Europe’s ATC is an essential service and these protected civil service workers should not be allowed to strike or hold passengers to ransom in this way. National ATC providers should be deregulated and allowed to compete with each other in a system that will allow one country to manage the airspace of neighbouring countries to prevent flights being cancelled or delayed during industrial action.
Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said today:
“Europe’s airlines and passengers have suffered at the hands of ATC providers all summer long and now, ahead of yet another Spanish ATC strike, Ryanair is calling on the EU to take action to prevent further strike action. Ryanair will not allow its passengers to be inconvenienced further by the selfish strike action by Europe’s ATC providers and will operate flights to/from Spain with hand-luggage only on the Wednesday 29th Sept.
“Action must be taken at EU level to ensure that the ‘right to strike’ is removed from essential services such as ATC and competition must be introduced across Europe’s ATC providers to ensure that a strike in one country is not be allowed to disrupt million of passengers’ travel plans.”