European passengers hit by latest air traffic control strikes

European passengers hit by latest air traffic control strikes

Thousands of European passengers are likely to see their travel plans disrupted again today with the latest air traffic control strike in Europe.

The strike is expected to last for 35 hours and will see hundreds of flight cancellations - delays and time-consuming detours not included, according to the Airlines For Europe aviation pressure group.

Airlines have been asked to reduce their flight offerings by 15 per cent and more than 300 flights are expected to be cancelled.

“A4E has repeatedly called on the European authorities to take action to prevent these unjustified air traffic control strikes.

“We cannot allow 15,000 air traffic controllers restricting the rights of millions of European travellers.

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“Although we are not questioning the individual right of workers to take industrial action, the demands of increasingly mobile European citizens and businesses cannot be taken hostage by localised industrial action.

“It is about time to minimise the impact of these strike actions,” said Thomas Reynaert, managing director of A4E.

During the 2010-15 period there were 167 air traffic control strike days in the EU - one disrupted day every 13 days.

In total there were 213 disrupted days if taking into account the days before and after an ATC strike as flights had to be cancelled in advance and accumulated delays spilt over to the next day.

The latest strikes in Greece, Italy, Belgium and France since March this year caused over 4,000 cancellations among A4E members and far more than one million minutes of delay (more than 16,000 hours) across all airlines operating in European airspace.

Holidaymakers’ rights have been infringed by 11 air traffic control strikes in France since the beginning of the year.