Published on Friday, June 15, 2018

Ryanair warns of travel 'meltdown' this summer

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary says there will be a flight 'meltdown' this summer unless action is taken to improve air traffic control and to curb strikes.

O'Leary said ATC strikes caused his airline to cancel more than 1,000 flights in May and said more problems are expected.

The figure compares with 43 Ryanair cancellations in May last year.

EasyJet cancelled 974 flights last month, up from 117 in May 2017, according to Sky News.

O'Leary was speaking ahead of the latest French ATC strike, which has been organised for this weekend, leading to further cancellations.

In the busy summer months, cancellations could affect thousands of passengers, O'Leary warned.

O'Leary told Sky News: "We have been told by the French authorities that we have to cancel 150 flights, many of which don't even touch France, because the air traffic controllers there are going on strike this Saturday and Sunday.

"It's unacceptable, and as [IAG CEO] Willie Walsh said last month, it's getting worse.

"The real fear is that when passengers come to take their holidays in July and August, they will suffer flight cancellations, long delays or disruptions because of inadequate staffing in air control, particularly at weekends."

Meanwhile, more Air France strikes are set to resume next weekend. Staff will walk out on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, June 23-26.

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