Air traffic control strikes could disrupt a third of European flights this summer

Thousands of European travelers could see flights disrupted this summer after air traffic controllers revealed plans to organize a series of mass strikes.

Workers’ strikes at the European Organization for Aviation Safety, more commonly known as Eurocontrol, could affect around 12,600 flights a day, according to a report. Time. strike day may be announced as early as Monday.

Eurocontrol is the key player in the management of European airspace. Pilots fly in or fly over Europe flight plans must be submitted to the company to ensure a safe schedule and that no two aircraft should use the same call sign.

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The company expects to handle between 33,000 and 34,000 flights per day between July and August – a 7% increase from the same period in 2022.

Early estimates suggest 12,600 flights could be affected — about a third of all daily flights in Europe, during peak UK summer travel travel — if strike ahead.

“In a full-scale strike, at least 20 to 30 percent of flights would be delayed,” a source told The Times. “They are big numbers.”

Workers at Eurocontrol have called for a strike to protest problems with staff wages and schedules — a request from workers that includes the immediate hiring of 20 more controllers.

Related: Are you entitled to compensation if your flight is affected by a strike?

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A letter from Union Syndicale Brussels, the largest union in the European Public Service, obtained by The Times reads:

Everyone is having a hard time like industry action, we see no other way forward but to keep you informed of our decision to move forward. [with strikes]. Our case is lawful, strong and fair, and in the interest of the agency, network administrators, our stakeholders (member states and operations), the flying public said. general and us as loyal employees of the agency.

Related: This is when European airports and trains prepare to go on strike this summer

Speaking at an Airport Council International meeting earlier this year, Eurocontrol General Manager Raul Medina said: “Recent industrial activities have caused many delays across the network. We have We can’t manage such situations during quieter times, but if it happens in the middle of summer, it will be much more difficult. We need to be prepared.”

This is just the latest blow to European tourism this year from the strike, with Ryanair revealed earlier this week that it was forced to cancel more than 900 flights in June due to the French ATC strikes, affecting around 160,000 passengers.

Regarding the possibility of a current strike, a spokesman for Eurocontrol said: “No specific date for industrial action has been announced; this is a forewarning. Eurocontrol is doing its best to maintain the strikes. negotiate openly and find a constructive direction.”

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