Irish soccer fans scramble to reach Paris after flight cancelled

‘We just want to get to the match. We don’t care how we get there. We just want to get there’

Air France flight 1617 was due to depart Dublin at 9.10am for Paris and was carrying 81 soccer fans going to the match today which kicks-off at 5pm (Irish time). The flight was cancelled at short notice due to strike action. Video: Ronan McGreevy

 

Dozens of Irish fans face a scramble to get to Paris on time for Ireland’s opening match against Sweden this evening after their flight this morning from Dublin was cancelled.

Air France flight 1617 was due to depart Dublin at 9.10am for Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and was carrying 81 soccer fans going to the match which kicks-off at 5pm (Irish time).

However, the flight was cancelled at short notice due to an ongoing strike by Air France pilots.

An Air France spokeswoman said 77 of the passengers were accommodated on other flights, most of whom are due to travel on another Air France flight due to depart Dublin Airport at 2.45pm.

This flight is unlikely to get fans into Paris on time to reach the Stade de France before kick-off. The flight arrives in Charles de Gaulle Airport at 5.40pm local time, 20 minutes before the match begins.

Eamonn Carr and his partner Maria Devlin from Co Armagh were due on the flight on Monday morning which was cancelled on Sunday night.

“As soon we get to the airport, we’re going to jump into a taxi which will take us to the hotel and we’re going to have to get a taxi up to the Stade de France if we can,” Mr Carr said.

“We just want to get to the match. We don’t care how we get there. It will be hard getting through the Stade de France because security is very tight.

“Yesterday, we were extremely frustrated. I’m just glad to get it sorted out. We just want to get there.”