13 APRIL 2015


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Article from BTNews 13 APRIL 2015


easyJet is to be complimented on the way it dealt with last week’s French air traffic control strike, admitting there were problems, and coming out with a bold statement setting out the way the airline was dealing with the complicated situation that arose.  (also see 'Air Traffic chaos' in this issue.)  Besides being Britain's largest airline (in terms of passenger numbers) it is the second biggest in France too.

On the Wednesday 8 April easyJet cancelled 248 flights and the following day 331 including 78 to and from the UK.  The airline offered a free of charge transfer to another flight or a refund.  easyJet provided hotel accommodation and on the Wednesday booked 3,103 rooms accommodating 6,066 customers.  It also laid on five ‘rescue’ flights concerning schoolchildren.

In a statement the airline made it clear that in its opinion the strike action was unnecessary. “It caused considerable and disproportionate disruption for passengers and airlines across Europe.”

Simon McNamara, Director General of the European Regions Airline Association, said: "This action, during one of the busiest passenger traffic weeks of the year, is completely unjustified and unreasonable.

"Europe's airlines and passengers continue to suffer at the hands of air traffic control unions who are reluctant to recognise the opportunities for Europe that the modernisation of its air traffic management system presents."

BTN applauds the common sense approach by an airline to a serious problem not of their making.  Ryanair cancelled 500 flights whilst Monarch, whose operational area is more the Mediterranean managed to alter its entire flight programme to omit France.

Will the strikes affect people’s attitude towards France when they consider their holiday plans?   We shall see.

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Frankie Ricci, UK

Take note M. O'L. Budget carrier can do customer service, even in the face of severe passenger disruption....Well done EZY