European air traffic controllers plan major strike for 10 October

originalEurope & CIS: European air traffic controllers plan major strike for 10 October; substantial delays, cancellations possible

Travellers scheduled to fly to or from airports in Europe on 10 October are advised of possible flight cancellations and delays on the day due to a planned strike by the air traffic controllers’ union ATCEUC. However, precedent suggests that pan-European industrial action is rarely equally observed across the continent, if at all, and some countries may not experience any disruption. It is also possible that the threatened strike may be called off in the interim following negotiations.

The union has said that its 14,000 members would stage a walkout affecting flights in the following countries: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland.

The strike, which, should it proceed, would be the largest held by the union for more than a decade, is being organised in protest at a European Commission proposal to restructure European airspace as a ‘single space’, a move air traffic controllers allege would threaten their jobs and passenger safety. The timings of the walkout have not yet been announced; the form and duration of the strike is likely to vary from country to country due to variations in domestic labour laws. Industrial action may also be taken on the day by British air traffic controllers, who are not part of ATCEUC.

Travel Advice

  • If the strike goes ahead, flights on the day are liable to be substantially disrupted; if possible, personnel may wish to consider booking flights for before or after the strike date in order to minimise any potential inconvenience.
  • We do not hold information on specific flights. Travellers scheduled to fly to or from airports in the aforementioned countries on 10 October are advised to contact their carrier or check the relevant airport’s website for further information.
  • Personnel intending to fly to or within Europe on 10 October should arrive early at the airport or check-in online to prevent their seat from being reallocated to a standby passenger; travellers may also want to consider changing the date of their flight in order to minimise possible inconvenience.
  • Residual disruption is likely even after the work stoppage concludes, as airlines attempt to clear the backlog of passengers and reschedule cancelled flights. Anticipate delays and reconfirm bookings for flights scheduled after the walkout concludes.
  • Monitor the local media and our regional travel security alerts for further updates on the planned strike, including for details of timings and likely impact.

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