Michael O’Leary is asking European governments to intervene in order to halt ongoing strike action by air traffic controllers on the continent. In May, the carrier saw 117,000 flight delays, 71,000 of which were caused by strikes or staff shortages. O’Leary termed the situation “unacceptable”.
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has called the disruption caused by striking European Air Traffic Control services (ATCs) “unacceptable” and has urged European Union (EU) authorities to step in to resolve the ongoing crisis, City A.M. reports.
Last month, the carrier had to contend with 117,000 flight delays, more than 71,000 of which were caused by ATC labor action and staff shortages. Ryanair’s appeal to the EU comes just ahead of strikes by French ATC staff. This action is due to take place this weekend.
The outlet reports that over 56,000 of Ryanair’s flights during May had delays of 15 minutes or more. This figure, it says, is “well over the EU delay threshold of 0.5 minutes per flight.” Ryanair has already forecasted that it could see delays of one and half minutes per flight for the remainder of 2018.
Commenting on the situation, British, French and German controllers were singled-out for criticism by O’Leary. He has also accused German and British staff of using bad weather to hide inadequate staff levels.
O’Leary stated, “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.”
“Europe’s ATC providers are approaching the point of meltdown with hundreds of flights being canceled daily simply because they don’t have enough staff to deal with them,” he added.