French airline employee strikes have -- according to airline companies -- once again "closed the skies" over Europe. Airlines have advised travelers to check their flights in their tracking applications and websites as flights coming in and going from Europe could possibly be delayed or worse, cancelled.
According to The Telegraph UK, budget airline Ryanair had cancelled 45 flights from Britain to Europe and vice versa. In the same route, British Airways and Easyjet have also cancelled 46 and 38 flights in a single day. Ryanair said that, as French airline employee strikes continue, flight cancellations and delays this week are likely to happen.
According to The Sun UK, Airlines for Europe estimated about 1,000 flights to be cancelled this coming week. The lobby group said France's air traffic, along with flights to and from Italy, Switzerland, Spain, and the UK will greatly be affected by the strike. The French airline employee strikes are mostly made of air traffic controllers who could affect air operations in all airlines heavily.
Airline companies have called on Europe to help minimize the damages caused by air controller strikes because the group, while small, are causing delays and inconvenience to thousands of European consumers. According to Ryanair Spokesman Kenny Jacobs, the French Government and the European Commission could not just "stand idly by" as "another summer of disruption and travel misery for European consumers take place."
The Airlines for Europe lobby group note that from 2010, air controller strikes had affected 35,000 flights using French airspace since 2010. In 2016, air controller strikes of 41 days made it one of the most tumultuous years for "travel misery."
When airline flights become cancelled or delayed, if one's travel insurance covers it, travelers can book a prescribed room and the insurance company would reimburse their expenses for booking another ticket. EU regulations do protect passengers by having the airline to reimburse the costs of an extended stay, but because air traffic controllers have caused the issue, they are not directly the cause of disruption, leaving passengers to fend for themselves should delays or cancellations occur.