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15th Jun 2018

Ryanair Warns There Could Be ‘Full Meltdown’ This Summer With Cancelled Flights

Megan Cassidy

Not ideal…

Ryanair boss Michael O’ Leary has warned that there could be travel chaos this summer if threatened strike action goes ahead.

O’ Leary warned that things were getting ‘to the point of meltdown’ due to Air Traffic Controller roster and staffing issues, which resulted in over 71,000 flights delayed in May.

Almost 1,000 flights were cancelled last month due to ATC staff shortages and strikes.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “Yet again this weekend, French ATC will strike on Saturday and Sunday leading to hundreds of flights being cancelled, disrupting the holiday plans of thousands of passengers.

“Many of these flights don’t even touch France, yet they will be disruptive because French ATC requires airlines to cancel overflights while they protect French domestic routes.

“Europe’s airlines are also suffering thousands of ATC delays/cancellations because of staff shortages especially in German and UK ATC providers.

“These disruptions are unacceptable, and we call on the UK and German Governments, and the EU Commission to take urgent and decisive action to ensure that ATC providers are fully staffed and that overflights are not affected when national strikes take place, as they repeatedly do in France.”

He went on

“Europe’s ATC providers are approaching the point of meltdown with hundreds of flights being cancelled daily simply because they don’t have enough staff to deal with them.

“The situation is particularly acute at weekends where British and German ATC providers are hiding behind adverse weather and euphemisms such as “capacity restrictions” when the truth is they are not rostering enough ATC staff to cater for the number of flights that are scheduled to operate.

Urgent action must now be taken by the UK and German Governments, and the EU Commission, otherwise thousands more flights and millions of passengers will be disrupted, particularly in the peak months of July and August, unless this ATC staffing crisis is addressed.”

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