DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ryanair said it would cancel 420 flights on Friday, affecting 80,000 passengers, due to an air traffic control strike in France that will limit flights and more than halve Air France’s short and medium-haul services.
France’s aviation authority DGAC earlier this week asked airlines to halve their flight schedules on Friday due to a planned strike.
Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline in terms of passenger transport, said it would be mainly affected by restrictions on flying over France. It flies up to 3,000 flights per day across Europe during high season.
“It is time for the European Union to step in and protect flights so that ransoms for European passengers are not repeatedly levied by a small French union at ATC,” Neil McMahon, Ryanair’s director of operations, said in a statement.
The statement said other air traffic control centers should be allowed to manage overflights over France during the strikes.
Air France said it will operate only 45% of its short and medium-haul flights on Friday.
The French air traffic control union SNCTA cited inflation and its demand to hire more people as reasons for the strike.