Home Organisations Airlines for Europe (A4E) Unprecedented Air Traffic Controllers’ strike wave hits European holiday makers

Unprecedented Air Traffic Controllers’ strike wave hits European holiday makers


 Nine strike days announced in France, Italy and Portugal.
 More than 200 flight cancellations during today’s 35 hour ATC strike in France.
 Next week’s A4E CEO’s Summit in Brussels to unite stakeholders in “Call for Action”.


Thousands of European passengers will see their travel plans disrupted again with another air traffic control (ATC) strike in Europe. Today’s industrial action (23 June) in France is the prelude to an unprecedented strike wave just starting when millions of holiday makers hit the airports to conquer beaches and pools across the continent. The strike is expected to last for 35 hours and will see more than 200 flight cancellations – delays and time-consuming detours not included. Over the next four weeks another eight strikes have been already announced in Italy and Portugal and more than 1,000 flights at risk of being cancelled.

European travellers face a summer of chaos, disruption and ruined holidays due to ATC strikes. Just this week nine strike days have been confirmed for June and July and they surely won’t be the last. There has never been a greater urgency for the European Commission and the governments to act and to protect the rights of millions of European travellers affected by this unceasing strike actions. There is nothing stopping further ATC strikes  – we need urgent action to stop these controllers from infringing on people’s rights and destroying their holiday plans”, said Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director of A4E.

 “Next Tuesday, our member airlines’ CEOs will meet with key industry players in Brussels to pave the way for technological, operational and political solutions to minimise strike effects. We will call for immediate action to prevent the holidays of European families being spoilt by these strikes which cause uncertainty and disruption for our customers ”, Reynaert added.

The latest ATC strikes in Greece, Italy, Belgium and France since March caused over 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.