Travel chaos to hit Europe over bank holiday weekend

Strikes and rail engineering works in the UK and France will affect millions of travellers

Travellers across Europe are bracing themselves for another wave of a travel chaos as various air travel and rail operators are to hold strikes over the bank holiday weekend.

Travel to, from, and within France will be affected the most as both aviation and railway workers are planning two-day strikes on Thursday 3 and Friday 4 May.

Air France’s pilots, cabin crew and ground staff are staging the strikes as part of a long-running dispute over pay.

Around 22 per cent of long-haul flights, such as round-trips to New York, as well as flights to Beijing, Buenos Aires, Delhi, Dubai, Lagos, Mexico City and Taipei, and 20 per cent of European services to and from Paris Charles de Gaulle will be grounded.

In a statement, the airline said: “Air France regrets the ongoing strike action at a time when company management has made several proposals to end the conflict.”

Air traffic controllers at Marseille are to take industrial action for 48-hours beginning on Saturday morning, 5 May, until Monday morning, 7 May. It is currently unclear how large of an impact the strike will have, however, some flight cancellations and delays are likely.

Another set of Air France strikes is planned for Monday 7 May and Tuesday 8 May.

Greater Anglia plan to run a full service despite strikes called by the RMT – Michael715 / Shutterstock Travel chaos to hit Europe bank holiday weekend Travel chaos Air France Greater Anglia
Greater Anglia plan to run a full service despite strikes called by the RMT – Michael715 / Shutterstock

Passengers should also prepare themselves for a situation in Britain where various union disputes are taking place. Despite stoppages by South Western Railway staff being called off by the RMT union, some of their colleagues in Greater Anglia are planning to walk out.

The train operator says it will not be cancelling any planned services. Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia’s managing director, said: “We’d like to reassure customers that we will be running a full service on this day, using our contingency conductors.”

However, a number of engineering projects planned for the bank holiday weekend may also disrupt Greater Anglia connections, as well as in Scotland and London.