BRITS have been warned of even more chaos over the summer holidays as new industrial action will hit a third of all European flights.
Tens of thousands of flights are at risk of being delayed or canceled after European air traffic controllers said they were grounding their flights – adding to existing challenges of “high congestion” in traffic.
British holidaymakers will now have to wait and see if their travel will be affected. The dates for the strikes will be announced in the “coming days”.
Across the continent, airlines will struggle to adjust to the huge operational challenges posed by the strikes, which will likely include a reduction in flights.
Eurocontrol inspectors are on strike after talks broke down over rosters, staffing and pay.
An industry source said The times that the industrial action could affect up to 12,600 flights a day across Europe.
“In a full-fledged strike, at least 20 to 30 percent of flights would be delayed. Those are big numbers,” the source said.
This comes after British holidaymakers were already warned of a “challenging” summer with “high traffic congestion” across Europe.
Already last summer there were long delays at the airport, canceled flights and lost luggage when travelers traveled abroad after the Corona crisis.
This year, Eurocontrol said there would be congestion on most days in key regions and on peak days – especially Fridays and weekends – in tourist hotspots like London, Barcelona, Athens and Budapest.
They issued the warning at the start of the summer peak season, which is expected to see around 33,000 daily flights across Europe from July to mid-August.
Compared to the previous year’s figures, this means an increase of around 7 percent.
Brits are expected to take more than 25 million trips abroad by September, mostly by air.
In a letter obtained by the Times, the Union Syndicale Bruxelles, representing EU officials, said it had no choice but to continue the strikes.
“As difficult as industrial action may be for everyone, we see no other way forward than to let you know of our decision to move forward [with strikes].
“Our case is lawful, strong and fair and is in the interests of the agency, the network manager, our stakeholders (operating and member states), the flying public at large, and ourselves as loyal employees of the agency.”
Before the attack action was announced, Raúl Medina, Director General of Eurocontrol, warned: “This summer in Europe is challenging as we have less available airspace due to the war in Ukraine and military needs.” . . We need everyone to do their part.
“Airports need to have good staffing, that’s vital.” [air traffic services] Allocate enough capacity and the airlines will stick to their schedules.”
Medina says increased military activity in Europe has reduced available airspace by up to 20 percent, meaning some parts of the region are having to handle much more traffic due to diverted flights.
He added: “Recent industrial action has caused many delays.”
“We can handle situations like this in calmer times, but when it happens in the middle of summer it becomes much more difficult.”