Airlines received a glimmer of hope in their fight against European flight disruption with news that this week’s strike by Greek air traffic controllers has been abandoned.
The Federation of Civil Aviation unions in Greece announced the suspension of the planned five day walkout which would have started today (Monday).
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “All domestic and international flights in Greece are expected to operate as normal on these dates. If you have any concerns, please contact your airline or travel company.”
However, Italian air traffic controllers walked out for four hours on Friday while the country’s football team appeared in Euro 2016 playing Sweden and more industrial action is planned for July 23.
Thomas Reynaert, managing director of lobby group Airlines for Europe (A4E), said: “Repeated and disproportionate industrial action by ATC unions is seriously impacting the travel plans of thousands of passengers during this summer.
“It is unacceptable that airlines and their customers can be repeatedly punished by these unjustified strikes. The European Commission and governments must act immediately to protect the rights of millions of European travellers.”
He added: “Later this month our member airlines’ CEOs will hold a summit in Brussels on air mobility and prosperity to discuss technological, operational and political means to minimise strike effects. It’s time to take action.”
ATC strikes in Greece, Italy, Belgium and France since March caused nearly 3,000 cancellations among A4E members and more than 16,000 hours of delays across all airlines operating in European airspace.
More than 10,000 flights operated by A4E member airlines were affected by 28 days of ATC strikes in Europe last year affecting millions of passengers.
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