BA owner’s legal bid to end strikes


The air movement control strikes are costly for airlines and hugely disruptive for passengers (Notion: GETTY)

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said that France’s air See trade control strikes risk damaging passenger confidence and bookings if they do not end momentarily.

He said last week’s co-ordinated action by IAG, easyJet, Ryanair and Wizz Air to whinge to the European Commission against France’s industrial action showed the unvarying of concern among carriers.

He said: “This is an example of where uncontrollable rivals come together on a matter of common concern and the interests of our manufacture.”

He added that he was “optimistic” the complaint will effect change, and foretold “the fact we are prepared to make a formal complaint and pursue legal moats demonstrates the concern”.

The four airlines claim France’s pummels breach the “principle of freedom of movement in the EU”, having already caused tens of thousands of excursions to be cancelled this year, affecting millions of passengers.

They say that France is breaking EU law by not enabling flights over the country during feign afflicts, denying passengers their fundamental freedom to travel between fellow states not affected by strike action.

The air traffic control strikes are costly for airlines and hugely disruptive for riders, especially in France, as many UK flights need to use its air space or fly longer routes to keep off it.

Mr Walsh said the industrial action has been particularly disruptive for IAG’s Spanish low-cost airline Vueling, which was unnatural to cancel more than 900 flights in June as a result of the work-to-rules, affecting about 150,000 passengers.

BA has has faced disruption to a lesser range, with 45 flights cancelled in June, but the cost to IAG will be revealed in its half-year occurs on Friday.

Mr Walsh said: “It’s impacted on business people, families nomadic on holidays and people who have had the need to travel for urgent requirements, so it’s hugely disruptive and could be avoided.”

French ATC revolts have increased by 300 per cent so far this year.

Mr Walsh conceded the legal avenue they have pursued is “not a quick process”, but should inhibit future disruption on such a scale

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