Wave of travel strikes to ripple across Europe

Stoppages in Berlin today to be followed by Ryanair strikes in Spain and air traffic controllers in Italy

Workers’ relations continue to be under strain in the new year with a wave of strikes to hit the travel industry in the first weeks of January.

Today saw a four-hour disruption at Berlin’s airports as security workers downed tools between 05.00 and 08.45. Both Tegel and Schönefeld airports were severely affected during the busiest period of the week for departures.

The news was followed by Ryanair’s Spanish staff announcing that they would strike on 8, 10 and 13 January.

Ryanair failed to come to an agreement with representatives of their Spanish staff — Rebius / Shutterstock Wave of travel strikes to ripple across Europe
Ryanair failed to come to an agreement with representatives of their Spanish staff — Rebius / Shutterstock

The unions which represent the workers, USO and Sitcpla, failed to reach an agreement with Ryanair before calling the industrial action.

Spain’s government has said that all domestic flights and 35 per cent of international services must take off and Ryanair has confirmed it will run a full schedule to, from and within Spain on Tuesday 8 January.

In a statement provided to the Independent, the budget carrier said: “Due to the efforts of the Spanish Government minimum services regulator, and the support of our pilots and cabin crew in Spain, we expect to operate a full schedule of flights to/from (and within) Spain on 8 January.

“All passengers scheduled to fly should check in online as normal and arrive at their departure airport at least two hours prior to their time of scheduled departure.”

Industrial action by security staff in Berlin affected mostly Lufthansa and Eurowings — Maciej Bledowski / Shutterstock Wave of travel strikes to ripple across Europe
Industrial action by security staff in Berlin affected mostly Lufthansa and Eurowings — Maciej Bledowski / Shutterstock

Today’s industrial action in Berlin mostly affected Lufthansa and Eurowings, who grounded flights to Frankfurt, Cologne and Munich. International flights to Paris, Copenhagen, Basel, Zurich and Vienna were also cancelled.

The decision to strike followed a failed fourth round of wage negotiations between Germany’s largest trade union, ver.di, and the Federal Association of Aviation Security Companies.

Eurocontrol also reported that Italian air traffic controllers are to strike between 12.00 and 16.00 UTC on 11 January. It is expected that this will affect domestic and European flights, and long-haul departures.

Overflights and incoming intercontinental flights should not be affected.

Eurocontrol are an intergovernmental organisation that works to build safe, efficient and environmentally-friendly air traffic operations across Europe.

Passengers who may be affected by strikes are advised to contact their airline.