A 36-hour strike by French air traffic controllers has caused the cancellations of dozens of flights to and from Spain.

Starting from Monday 6pm, affected airports in Spain include flights Zaragoza, Santander and Palma de Mallorca.

Several hundred passengers were left stranded just in Zaragoza alone on Tuesday, while 30 flights were cancelled to or from Palma.

Throughout Spain, the nationwide strike in France has forced the cancellation of 40 of the 104 direct flights scheduled between the two countries.

The French Civil Aviation Authority advised airlines to cancel up to 30% of flights on strike days due to the fact that flights would not be able to transit French airspace. 

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary, who has cancelled 400 flights, said: “The vast majority of these flights are overflights. They are not going to France. 

“They are flying from Britain to Spain, from Portugal to Germany, from Italy to Ireland.

“We respect the right of French ATC to strike, but if they go on strike, it should be French domestic flights or local flights in France that get cancelled.”

Unfortunately for travellers, unless it’s the airline’s own staff on strike, they won’t be receiving any compensation. 

Anything beyond the airline’s control is deemed an ‘extraordinary circumstance,’ and that includes air traffic controller strikes. 

The good news is that the airline still has a legal obligation to lend a helping hand.

The airline must present you with two options: a full refund, including any return journeys that may be affected, or an alternative flight, even flights operated by rival airlines. 

Flights departing from the UK, flights with a UK destination operated by a UK or EU airline, and even UK airline-operated flights with an EU destination are covered by UK law, adopted the rules from EU Regulation 261/2004.


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