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Over 60 flights were canceled at London Heathrow on Sunday, resulting in difficulties for some of the 10,000 passengers affected by the disruptions.
A protest from French air-traffic control employees has resulted in numerous flight cancellations to and from the UK, including flights passing over countries like Spain and Switzerland.
On Sunday a combination of “staff absence” at Heathrow’s air-traffic control tower and high winds triggered mass cancellations, long delays and the diversion of two inbound transatlantic flights.
The disruption at Heathrow Airport persisted into the early morning, with flights departing and arriving past midnight. Typically, operations cease at 11:30pm.
A British Airways flight from Heathrow to Lisbon experienced a delay due to a catering truck hitting the plane. The aircraft was attended to by engineering staff and firefighters before taking off nearly three hours behind schedule. It arrived safely in Lisbon around 1am.
A passenger informed The Independent that the situation was a complete joke, with high winds being the initial issue, followed by a confirmation of staff shortages and ultimately, a catering truck colliding with the plane.
A representative from BA expressed regret for the inconvenience caused to customers during their travels.
Flight cancellations caused by the recent French air-traffic control strike started with the initial group of departing flights on Monday morning. British Airways has suspended over 20 flights going from Heathrow to France, Switzerland and Spain, while Iberia has cancelled a round trip between Madrid and London.
EasyJet, the largest low-cost airline in Britain, has cancelled a minimum of 10 flights between airports in the UK and Paris, including routes from Luton, Bristol, and Manchester.
According to the data available for Charles de Gaulle airport, it seems that easyJet has experienced more negative effects compared to Air France, whose main base is located in Paris, France.
It seems that the French national airline has only cancelled four domestic round trips and no international flights.
Passengers flying with Ryanair are experiencing significant disruptions. The budget airline has suspended 10 flights to and from France at London Stansted, and there have also been cancellations at Manchester and Belfast International airports.
A representative from Ryanair stated that the 65 days of ATC strikes this year, which is 13 times the amount in 2022, is unacceptable. These strikes have resulted in the abrupt cancellation of numerous flights, unfairly affecting the travel plans of EU passengers.
“Despite numerous requests for [European Commission president] Ursula von der Leyen to safeguard the rights of passengers and flights during these ATC strikes, she has not taken any measures to address the issue.”
“We do not oppose French ATC unions utilizing their right to strike, but the EU Commission should ensure that any flight cancellations caused by French ATC strikes only affect French flights, rather than those simply passing through French airspace en route to another EU destination.”
Possible rewording: It is anticipated that there will be significant delays throughout the day as pilots await authorization to fly to or above France. A number of flights from London Gatwick to Spain for Wizz Air, Vueling, British Airways, and easyJet’s “first wave” experienced delays of more than an hour.
If an airline cancels a flight, they must offer seats on other flights as soon as possible, even if it means using a different airline.
The regulations for passengers’ rights in Europe state that airlines must offer hotel accommodations and meals, but they are not obligated to provide monetary compensation if the flight is cancelled due to a strike that is out of their control.