ITAA Statement on French National Strike
Dublin, 6th December 2019 The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) today expressed their disappointment at the announcement that one of France’s biggest nationwide strikes, which includes Air Traffic Controllers, is continuing into its second day. This has already caused multiple cancellations of Ryanair and Aer Lingus flights scheduled over the coming days.
The strike comes as a response to President Macron’s planned pension reforms; it does not have a fixed end date and could last several days. Comparisons have been made with previous incidents in November and December 1995, where the struggle between government and unions caused the country to be paralysed for nearly three weeks. Both Ryanair and Aer Lingus today announced that the strike will see a number of its services delayed or cancelled.
Ryanair issued a statement on Tuesday, confirming that the strike has forced them to cancel a number of scheduled flights. The low-cost airline informed its customers of these cancellations via email and SMS, advising them of redress options such as free transfers to alternative flights or full refunds of tickets. Those who have not received an email or text message should expect their flight to go ahead as scheduled.
Aer Lingus has said in a statement that it has also been forced to reduce its flight schedule and cancel a number of its scheduled flights to and from Paris, urging customers to check the live status of their flight before departing for the airport. Aer Lingus will be offering affected customers the option to rebook their flight or receive a full refund.
John Spollen, President of the ITAA, said: “It is likely that this latest strike will cause huge disruption to Irish passengers and impact travel to and from France, as well as any journeys which need to pass through French air space, such as popular holiday destinations, Portugal and Spain. Irish holidaymakers will be faced with the possibility of incurred additional costs due to disruptions to planned accommodation, or any connecting travel arrangements, which of course are very frustrating consequences for Irish holidaymakers.”
He continued, “While the impending strike will affect popular holiday destinations, we are also aware that inbound tourism to Ireland and businesses are equally faced with disruptions. As mentioned previously in a statement issued by the ITAA in August, our members are concerned with the recurring issue of industrial disharmony over recent years, and the effect this could have on tourism from Ireland to France in the future.”
Spollen concluded, “The ITAA advise all passengers to check with their travel agent, online, or with airlines for the status of their flight before travelling to the airport, until the strike is called off. As the strike does not have a fixed time limit, passengers should consider that airlines could likely face schedule disturbances into the coming weeks.”