Rep of Ireland fans make it just in time after late flight cancellation

Strike by Air France pilots left fans cutting it very fine to get to the Stade de France

A group of Republic of Ireland fans at Stade de France in Paris for the Euro 2016 game against Sweden.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

A group of Republic of Ireland fans at Stade de France in Paris for the Euro 2016 game against Sweden. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

A group of Irish fans managed to get to the match against Sweden in Paris though their original flight was cancelled at short notice.

There was consternation among some fans who found out late on Sunday night that the 9am flight to Paris on Monday morning was cancelled because of a strike by Air France pilots.

Armagh-based couple Eamonn Carr and his partner Maria Devlin were among 81 passengers on the Air France flight left stranded by the strike.

They managed to get on a flight at midday but arrived in Paris only a couple of hours before kick-off.

A total of 77 were accommodated on other flights, but some could only get on a flight which arrived in Paris 20 minutes before kick-off.

On a mission

Mr Carr was on a mission too as he agreed to bring with him a ticket for a fan who left his behind in Ireland.

He took a taxi straight from the airport to his hotel where he met the Irish fan and handed him his ticket. Then it was straight into another taxi and to the Stade de France for the match, which kicked off at 6pm local time.

“We just about made it. The traffic going to the match was absolutely diabolical,” he said.

“It was such a dramatic day. It was good to get there eventually and the result was good enough too.”

Air France pilots have been striking over pay and conditions for several weeks. The strikes are ongoing throughout the European Championships. Passengers are advised to check with the website before taking their flights.

It is also reported there will be a strike mounted by French air traffic controllers on Tuesday, June 14th.

Ryanair announced it has cancelled 44 flights on Tuesday to and from France following what will be the 10th air traffic controllers’ strike in the last 12 weeks.