- Airlines have to reduce capacity by 15%.
- ATC strikes cost up to €9.5 billion of European Union’s GDP associated with 131,000 jobs over the last six years.
Thousands of European passengers will see their travel plans disrupted again today with another air traffic control (ATC) strike in Europe. Holiday makers and business people’s rights have been infringed by 11 ATC strikes in France since the beginning of the year. Over the last seven years Europe suffered from more than 250 days of disruption. The strike is expected to last for 35 hours and will see hundreds of flight cancellations – delays and time-consuming detours not included. Airlines have been asked to reduce their flight offerings by 15% 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 ATC strikes. We cannot allow 15,000 air traffic controllers restricting the rights of millions of European travellers. 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 localized 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 ATC strike days in the EU – one disrupted day every 13 days. In total there were 213 disrupted days if you take 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 ATC 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.
Across the EU, ATC strikes occur the most frequently in France, followed by Greece, Italy and Portugal and resulted in 30,000 cancellations and more than 6 million minutes of delay among A4E airlines (2010-15).
Airlines for Europe (A4E) is Europe’s new and largest airline association, based in Brussels. Launched in January 2016, the association consists of Aegean, Air France KLM, easyJet, Finnair, International Airlines Group (IAG), Jet2.com, Lufthansa Group, Norwegian, Ryanair, TAP Portugal and Volotea, and plans to grow further. With more than 500 million passengers on board each year, A4E members account for more than 60 per cent of the continent’s passenger journeys, operating more than 2,500 airplanes and generating EUR 97 billion in annual turnover.