- Nearly 3,000 ATC strike cancellations across Europe in 2016.
- EU and governments must act now to protect European passengers’ rights.
- A4E holds CEO Summit on Air Mobility and Prosperity later this month in Brussels to address travel disruptions.
Passengers flying to and from Italy, today, could see their travel plans disrupted due to an air traffic control (ATC) strike which was just confirmed last night. The industrial action is expected to last at least 4 hours and its impact in terms of flight cancellations and delays could have a knock-on effect on other European flights with more than 100 flights at risk of being cancelled. The next ATC strike in Italy is already planned for 23 July which could result in even more flight cancellations during one of the busiest Summer holiday travel days.
“While Italy plays against Sweden, today, thousands of European passengers will be stranded in Italy or won’t be able to board a flight abroad. Repeated and disproportionate industrial action by ATC unions is seriously impacting the travel plans of thousands of passengers during this Summer. It is unacceptable that airlines and their customers can be repeatedly punished by these unjustified strikes. The European Commission and governments must act immediately to protect the rights of millions of European travellers”, said Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director of A4E.
“Later this month our member airlines’ CEOs will hold a Summit in Brussels on Air Mobility and Prosperity to discuss technological, operational and political means to minimise strike effects. It’s time to take action”, Reynaert added.
The latest ATC strikes in Greece, Italy, Belgium and France since March caused nearly 3,000 cancellations among A4E members and more than one million minutes of delay (more than 16,000 hours) across all airlines operating in European airspace. In 2015 more than 10,000 flights operated by A4E members were affected by 28 days of ATC strikes in Europe causing unjustified disruption to millions of passengers.
Airlines for Europe (A4E) is Europe’s new and largest airline association, based in Brussels. Launched in January 2016, the association consists of Air France KLM, easyJet, Finnair, International Airlines Group (IAG), Jet2.com, Lufthansa Group, Norwegian, Ryanair and Volotea, and plans to grow further. With more than 500 million passengers on board each year, A4E members account for more than half of the continent’s passenger journeys, operating more than 2,300 airplanes and generating EUR 93 billion in annual turnover.