Airline warns of summer air traffic meltdown

A line-up of aircraft tailfins with Ryanair logos
Ryanair carries the most scheduled passengers in both Europe and on international flights

Ryanair demands action to avert 'crisis' in air traffic control services across EU

Ryanair has demanded that EU governments act to prevent a "meltdown" of Air Traffic Control operations this summer.

The airline said more than 117,000 European flights were delayed in May alone, with staff shortages and strikes accounting for 61% of those delays.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary said strikes involving air traffic controllers in France - where public service workers have been protesting against President Emmanuel Macron's labour reforms - disrupted services across Europe, even flights that did not touch down in the country.

"These disruptions are unacceptable, and we call on ... 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 said.

More than 56,000 flights were delayed more than 15 minutes, well over the EU delay threshold of 0.5 minutes per flight, Ryanair said, as it warned that current forecasts predict that delays across the EU will be more than triple the EU threshold in 2018.

"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."

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