Over 30 flights to and from Dublin Airport have been cancelled today following French air traffic control strikes.
Air traffic controllers have been on strike since 7pm on Monday and will continue to strike until Wednesday morning.
They are protesting the French Government’s plans to increase the pension age from 62 to 64.
Journalist and travel writer Joan Scales told Newstalk Breakfast the strikes are “disruptive for the whole of Europe”.
“It's a terrible time for this to be happening... this is the busiest season for flying anywhere since school holidays started in a lot of places this week,” she said.
Ms Scales said the major problem for Irish flights is handling overflights above France to other European countries.
“French air traffic controllers manage flights in the air above France,” she said. “That would include travelling to Spain Italy Germany, Switzerland, all those countries around them.”
“That's the major disruption for us, that's causing the flights to be cancelled in Ireland.”
Freedom of movement
Ms Scales said Ryanair has been majorly affected by the strikes as one of the “biggest carriers” of passengers in Ireland.
“Ryanair recently launched a petition to keep Europe's sky ‘open’ and they got 1.2 million signatures,” she said. “It was brought to the European Commission last Wednesday.”
The petition said “fed-up passengers [are] demanding that the EU Commission protect overflights and EU citizens’ freedom of movement”.
One of the biggest problems is that airlines cannot plan flights around the strikes.
“The French air traffic controllers said they’re going to strike again but we don’t know when,” Ms Scales said.
“That's one of the problems – they're not giving enough notice.”
Air traffic controllers have been on strike for a total of 57 days in the first five months of 2023.
Teachers, transport workers and refuse workers take also take part in tomorrow’s industrial action.
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