Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Air traffic control strike sparks 24-hour marathon journey for N Ireland fans

Published 16/06/2016

(left to right) Paul Leslie, Jonnie Gregg, Jamie Dill (top), Simon Sharkey, Steven Ringland and John Condy, who have made it to Lyon in time for the Northern Ireland game
(left to right) Paul Leslie, Jonnie Gregg, Jamie Dill (top), Simon Sharkey, Steven Ringland and John Condy, who have made it to Lyon in time for the Northern Ireland game

A group of students have made it to Lyon in time for the Northern Ireland game after a near 24-hour odyssey and a cancelled flight.

Jamie Dill, a theology student at Belfast Bible College, and five friends slept at the airport in Geneva outside a shuttered cafe as they contemplated missing the match due to industrial action by French air traffic controllers.

He said: "We are stuck here like ducks in water."

Their flight was due to leave Dublin on Wednesday morning but was delayed by an hour.

When they arrived in Zurich they took a train across the stunning mountains of Switzerland to Geneva to catch the short flight to Lyon.

But upon arrival they were told the service had been cancelled due to the French air traffic controllers' strike.

They managed to take a train early on Thursday morning and made it to Lyon in time to relax before the fixture against Ukraine.

Another member of the group, Simon Sharkey, said: "That was some ordeal. Now for some rest before the party starts."

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph