FACTBOX-Europe's Ongoing Strike-Related Travel Disruptions

By Dave Simpson
FACTBOX-Europe's Ongoing Strike-Related Travel Disruptions

Strikes in Europe could disrupt travel into the summer, as passengers numbers globally recover to pre-pandemic levels.

Since last year, strikes and staff shortages have forced European airlines to cancel thousands of flights to avoid long queues at major airports.

Claim management firm AirHelp says flight cancellations and delays of more than three hours in Europe were up from 2022 and 2019 over the April 5-11 period, which coincided with Easter holidays. Disruptions were most marked in France and Britain.

Here is a summary of recent developments:


** Around 1,400 security staff at London's Heathrow Airport will take a further eight days of strike action scheduled for 4-6, 9-10 and 25-27 May in a dispute over pay. This follows a 10-day strike by security staff that ended earlier this month.


** More than 1,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) across most of Britain's passport offices, including in London, Liverpool and Glasgow, will walk out from 3 April to 5 May, the union said. Border Force staff are expected to strike on April 28, possibly impacting border control wait times.


** Ryanair expected cancellations or delays of flights to and from France between 30 March and 8 April due to ongoing air traffic control strikes. CEO Michael O'Leary said on April 19 the airline will have to trim its July schedule because it expects delays to around 10 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.


** Berlin airport cancelled all passenger departures on 24 April as air security staff held a one-day strike over pay.

** Airports in Duesseldorf, Hamburg and Cologne, Bonn and Stuttgart were hit by strikes last week, with nearly 100,000 people expected to be affected.


** Pilots for Spanish airline Air Europa will go on strike on 1, 2, 4 and 5 May amid a wage dispute.


** Pilots for Spanish airline Iberia Regional Air Nostrum voted to go on an indefinite strike amid a wage dispute with the company. Air Nostrum said pilots called for a strike every Monday and Friday from Feb 27.

** Swissport handling workers called for a 24-hour strike from 27 February until 13 April every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 17 Spanish airports, UGT union said.

Hiring And Incentives

** Iberia, IAG's Spanish airline, planned to hire a total of 2,145 staff in the first half of the year to be able to handle the Easter travel rush and the summer season.

** In Italy, ITA Airways averted strikes after an undisclosed wage increase deal with unions at the end of February.

Read More: Airline Capacity Constrained Until 2025 - IATA

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