Tuesday,  November 28, 2023  3:35 pm

Possible strike action could disrupt summer flights in Europe

  • Air
  •   07-08-2023  11:28 am
  •   Pax Global Media

Possible strike action could disrupt summer flights in Europe
London Heathrow airport. (Shutterstock/Fasttailwind)
Pax Global Media

A labour dispute involving air traffic managers in Europe could disrupt European flights this summer as reports of potential strike action surface.

As reported by the BBC, Eurocontrol, which manages flights in Europe, has said one of its unions could take labour action – although no official dates have been announced just yet.

The negotiations are continuing with the union and other unions, Eurocontrol told the outlet.

Meanwhile, industry group Airlines UK has urged Eurocontrol "to reach agreement as soon as possible.”

Trade union Syndicale Bruxelles has announced a period of “six months during which industrial action could take place.”

A possible strike would impact its Network Manager Operations Centre, which oversees more than 10 million flights a year.

Prior to COVID, it had daily peaks managing more than 37,000 flights, and Eurocontrol said the centre played an important role in streamlining and improving air traffic.

Eurocontrol says it is engaged in "ongoing dialogue" with the union.

The updates come as aviation in Europe faces its own set of challenges this summer as passenger demand for flights returns to pre-COVID levels.

Releasing its May 2023 traffic results last week, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said European carriers posted a 19.8 per cent traffic rise versus May 2022.

Capacity in Europe climbed 14.2 per cent, and the load factor rose 3.9 percentage points to 84.4 per cent, IATA says.

European airspace is also faced with the issue of being constricted by Russia's war in Ukraine.

Airlines UK said its members were "looking forward to a busy summer, meeting growing demand for travel and carrying millions of people on holidays,” reports the BBC.

It said airlines have "made huge efforts since the pandemic to build resilience into operations.”

A deal between Eurocontrol and its union members would "avoid any potential disruption for airlines and their customers,” the group said.

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