A4E issues warning over summer strike action

Airline passengers could be facing a “summer of disgrace” due to continued strikes by air traffic controllers in Europe, according to lobby group Airlines 4 Europe (A4E), which represents most major carriers based in the continent.

It said last week’s French ATC strike caused 1,500 flight cancellations as well as 5,300 hours of delay with airlines having to take long detours around French airspace.

The group is now warning that the strikes could be held around Europe throughout the summer peak period for air travel.

A4E is urging passengers to sign a petition, entitled Keep Europe’s Skies Open, which will be presented to EU lawmakers in a bid to reduce the impact of ATC strikes on flights.

Thomas Reynaert, managing director of A4E, said: “It is devastating to see that more than a million passengers suffered from this year’s first ATC strike.

“We cannot wait anymore – European and French policymakers need to implement measures capable of minimising Air Traffic Management disruption’s impact on travellers.”

A4E said the next ATC disruption could happen as soon as next Monday (March 20) when workers in Italy are due to take industrial action.

“Travellers can unite and let out their frustration about the continuous travel disruptions by supporting our petition,” added Reynaert.

“We will present this petition in Brussels to urge the EU Commission and the EU Parliament to finally take action. Holidays and the summer break are ahead of us as possibly the next strikes.”

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