Ryanair today repeated calls for Brussels to act to prevent a summer of air traffic control strikes after revealing that 530 flights affecting 100,000 passengers were cancelled last month.

Europe’s largest low-cost carrier blamed repeated industrial action by French air traffic control controllers and other ground handlers for the groundings.

Chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, said: “March traffic was impacted by the cancellation of over 530 flights due to repeated ATC and some handling strikes, which cut our traffic by approximately 100,000 customers.

“We call on the French government and European Commission to take action to prevent another summer of ATC disruptions and urge all customers to sign the A4E [Airlines for Europe]  online petition, Keep Europe’s Skies Open, to help protect Europe from repeated disruption by ATC unions.”

He spoke out as Ryanair revealed that passenger numbers climbed by 10% to 9.4 million over the same month last year despite the flight disruption, with the load factor stable at 94%.

The airline’s rolling annual carryings to March grew by 13% to 120 million passengers.