Europe & CIS: Significant flight disruption expected across Europe on 10 October if strike by air traffic controllers goes ahead

aviónFlight cancellations and severe delays are possible at airports across Europe on 10 October due to a planned strike by the European air traffic controllers (ATCs) union coalition ATCEUC, which has around 14,000 members in regional countries.

  • ATCs from the following countries have already confirmed their intention to join the strike on the day: Cyprus, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Portuguese ATCs are due to observe the industrial action between 07.00 and 09.00 and between 15.00 and 17.00 (local time)
  • ATCEUC members from the following countries are also expected to participate in the walkout: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Switzerland
  • However, the Danish Air Traffic Association has announced that ATCs from that country will not participate in the walkout.

The strike, which would be the largest held by the union for more than a decade if it goes ahead, is being organised in protest at a European Commission (EC) proposal to restructure European airspace as a ‘single space’, which the ATCs allege would threaten their jobs and passenger safety. Precedent suggests that the impact and duration of the walkout is likely to vary from country to country, due to variations in domestic labour laws and differences in the level to which the strike is observed. The EC has reportedly made a new proposal to the ATCs in an attempt to avert the industrial actio.

Travel Advice

  • If the strike goes ahead, significant flight disruption is likely; if you have a flexible itinerary, consider booking flights on days before or after 10 October in order to minimise any potential inconvenience.
  • We do not hold information on specific flights. If flying to the aforementioned countries on the day, contact your carrier or check the relevant airport’s website for further information.
  • Arrive early at the airport or check-in online to prevent your seat from being reallocated to a standby passenger.
  • 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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