With Easter vacations coming up, airports and the transportation sector has announced potential disruptions in Europe. Travellers could face disruption in Germany, Spain, France and the UK between now and the busy holiday period.
On 27 February, airport security staff walked out over pay at two major German airports — Cologne-Bonn and Dusseldorf. Strikes at Cologne-Bonn started in the evening of 26 February and will continue until Monday evening. According to German news agency dpa, all but two of Monday’s 136 planned flights are expected to go ahead. In Dusseldorf, only 89 of the planned 330 flights are expected to take place as scheduled, with most of the rest being cancelled.
++++Streik-Information++++— Düsseldorf Airport (@dusairport) February 27, 2023
Der ganztägige Streik, zu dem die Gewerkschaften Verdi und komba aufgerufen haben, führt heute am #dusairport zu Einschränkungen im Flugbetrieb.
Der Streik endet am Dienstag, 03:00 Uhr. 1/x
Spain is wrestling with strikes in 17 airports across the country. The strikes are being organised by unionised workers at ground services and cargo handling company Swissport between now and Easter. From 27 February until 13 April, the unions have called for a series of 24-hour walkouts every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
Spain: Swissport ground handling workers plan series of 24-hour strikes at 17 airports across country every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 27 February until 13 April— Travel Watch (@BCDtravelwatch) February 23, 2023
Swissport Handling provides services at Madrid-Barajas, Barcelona-El Prat, Reus, Alicante, Valencia, Murcia, Málaga, Almería, Salamanca, Valladolid, Burgos, Logroño, Zaragoza, Huesca, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Tenerife Sur airports. Unions will have to provide minimum services, as is required by Spanish law, so it isn’t yet clear what impact the strikes will have on passengers.
The industrial action in France has previously included railway workers and airport staff with 30% of flights from Paris’s Orly airport cancelled on the last day of strikes. At stake are unions across France which have been in an ongoing battle against plans to increase the legal retirement age from 62 to 64.
On 7 March, unions are planning the biggest day of action yet and are promising to bring France to a complete standstill, Euronews reported. After that, they are debating whether to switch to rolling strikes — Paris Metro workers are one group in favour of swapping to industrial action that can start and finish any time during a specific time period.
In Heathrow, more than 3,000 security guards, engineers and firefighters who work at the airport are currently voting on whether to strike over low pay. If the workers, who are members of the Unite union, vote in favour of the industrial action, it could coincide with the busy Easter holiday period, unleashing total chaos during vacations.
If our members at HAL (Heathrow Airport) take strike action it will inevitably cause severe disruption throughout Heathrow with delays, disruption and cancellations of flights inevitable.Wayne King, Unite regional co-ordinating officer
Still in the UK, on 15 March, Border Force staff is expected to take part in a day of mass action where 100,000 civil service workers plan to walk out.