Blockades and strikes destroy European airports, canceling hundreds of flights

Some countries in Europe are facing more travel-related problems due to airport blockages and strikes by railway workers. Willie Walsh, director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), criticized the British government over transport policy. This forced German, British and French airlines to cancel hundreds of flights scheduled for next month.

Aviation centers in Europe have struggled to adjust to rising demand in light of easing restrictions on the Corona pandemic, and low-cost airline Wizz Air Holdings warned on Wednesday that the risk of further unrest on the mainland threatens the chances of recovery of the aviation industry.

And the Bloomberg news agency quoted a spokeswoman for the group responsible for operating the Paris airports as saying that a quarter of flights from Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Paris would be canceled due to the strike. She explained that a wage dispute could affect a wide range of services and cause a runway to close.

In Britain, which is experiencing high tensions over air travel, Walsh accused British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps of being “completely useless”. The minister had blamed the airlines for canceling hundreds of flights, saying this was causing a very large number of jobs to be lost during the pandemic and noting that they had not developed a recovery plan.

Lufthansa canceled 900 flights

German airline Lufthansa and its subsidiary Eurowings have reduced their scheduled flights for July due to staff shortages, both within the two companies and in the land and airport services sectors.

Lufthansa said on Wednesday, in response to a question, that it had canceled 900 flights scheduled for next month within Germany and Europe, from its headquarters in Frankfurt and Munich.

She said the cancellations are valid for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, adding that they are equivalent to 5% of the volume of trips that were planned for the weekend.

Eurowings boil hundreds

In the same context, Eurowings intends to cancel several hundred flights scheduled for next month, to maintain the stability of the company’s bids.

It is worth noting that the entire air transport sector, especially in Europe, is currently suffering from constraints and labor shortages in various sectors, from passenger examination, passage through land to air transport, air hospitality and the reason for the absence. is due to the tendency of air transport workers to look for other jobs during the pandemic period.

Lufthansa confirmed that it and the Eurowings have implemented many measures to ensure flight schedule stability.

“However, it is expected that flight plans may not be implemented as intended due to disruptions,” she said, adding that she had notified customers of canceled flights immediately and changed bookings on other Lufthansa and Eurowings flights if any. possible.

The company urged passengers to arrive at the airport on time for the upcoming holidays and make the most of the online check-in process the night before the trip and advised to reduce handbags to the minimum needed so that passengers avoid long waits. at security checkpoints.

For his part, the CEO of the German Airports Association, Ralph Beisel, recently said that service providers in all locations lack workers in the field of cleaning passenger travel procedures.

He noted that the number of ground service crews is 20% smaller than their number before the Corona crisis, adding that this could lead to obstacles in peak periods, especially in check-in, loading services. baggage and flight safety monitoring.

A Swiss Air spokesman announced on Tuesday the cancellation of many of the company’s flights to Germany due to staff shortages, either within the company or in the land services and airport services sector.

A spokesman for the German-owned Lufthansa group explained that among the canceled flights were five weekly flights between Nuremberg and Zurich, which are included in the summer schedule and are scheduled to operate next July-October.

25% cancellation of Charles de Gaulle flights

About 25% of flights scheduled for Thursday morning at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport were canceled due to a strike by airport employees demanding higher wages, according to the company that operates Paris Airports, Aeroports de Paris.

The General Directorate of Civil Aviation urged airlines to reduce the number of flights from 7:00 to 14:00 on Thursday, while some European airports recently faced major difficulties in managing passenger traffic for due to lack of staff.

Air France, the main airline operating at Paris-Charles-De Gaulle Airport, announced on Thursday the cancellation of 85 short- and medium-haul flights to meet the requirements of the General Directorate of Civil Aviation.

The company is also expected to make “modifications to long-haul flight schedules”, stressing that “the customers in question will be contacted directly”.

All Roissy Airport unions are calling on all employees to demand a € 300 salary increase “for all and without conditions”.

“Despite the resumption of travel and the profits that have been made, wages are not being paid properly (…) Everything is growing except our wages,” the unions said in a joint statement.

And one of the unions considered that “the chaos that employees are experiencing for several weeks at many airports in France and Europe is unbearable.” The union estimates that the number of jobs lost in the aviation sector reached 15,000 jobs over two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to “employee pressure”.

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