Disruptions across Europe mean passengers are unable to depart or return from their holiday as staff shortages trip industry. Major UK airports including: HeathrowManchester and Gatwick have reported long delays and queues, while hubs and carriers across Europe are experiencing similar issues. Here are all the countries reporting disruptions as strikes, shortages and increasing demand for international travel continue to put pressure on the world sky trip.
The ongoing chaos at the airport could last into summer as airlines continue to scrap busy schedules and cancel between five and ten percent of their flights during peak seasons.
Long delays and a constant cycle of cancellations are “entirely related to Brexit”, according to Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary, who last week was forced to deal with recent strikes by his own European crew members.
He told Sky News: “It has everything to do with Brexit. Many of these bottlenecks would be solved very quickly if we could bring in a European workforce.”
He added: “If we can’t attract people to do those jobs, like baggage handling like airport security, we’re going to have to get workers from Ireland or the continent to do them – and Brexit is one of the big bugbears in the world.” the system.”
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Which countries face long delays and queues?
Airports in some of Europe’s most popular destinations are feeling the effects of massive staff shortages and ongoing strikes by airline personnel.
Weeks of delays, cancellations and huge queues have hit airports in the British capital, with Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted all suffering from staff shortages caused by pandemic layoffs.
Shocking images surfaced last week of passengers sleeping on the floors of the Heathrow terminal as mountains of luggage piled up in front of airline check-in counters.
Busy queues also delay passengers flying from Manchester Airport.
An estimated 20 percent of security, check-in and aircraft handling jobs are vacant, with a shortage of 7,200 ground staff and flight attendants, identified by the German Economic Institute.
The staffing problems are a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic and have forced the German authorities to recruit a large number of new recruits from all over Europe.
According to the national newspaper Bild, the ministers planned to make up for a shortage of 2,000 to 3,000 staff with a “four-digit” number of temporary “guest workers”.
Last weekend, passengers at Düsseldorf and Cologne airports reported long queues at security gates, while Hamburg airport struggled to store “stranded” luggage.
A series of strikes in Belgium has sent Brussels Airport into a frenzy as airport and airline staff walk out.
There have been protests against industrial action by security personnel, flight attendants, baggage handlers and even pilots over the rising cost of living and low wages.
Brussels Airport had to cancel several flights last week, and more strikes are expected to cause further disruption.
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Spain and Portugal
Home to some of Europe’s busiest holiday airports, both Spain and Portugal will see police reinforcements to deal with the ‘chaos’.
About 500 more police officers are expected to be deployed in, among others, Palma de Mallorca, Alicante, Malaga, Madrid and Barcelona.
Meanwhile, the Portuguese government plans to more than double its border control staff to reduce long queues and waiting times for both arrivals and departures.
Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam
The pre-pandemic workforce has fallen significantly in recent months, meaning the airport – which is one of the busiest in Europe – will have to hire 500 security personnel to cope with the chaos.
Before the pandemic, there were 68,000 employees around the airport, but this has now been reduced to just 58,000.
Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports have been hardest hit by the strike action in France, during which workers protested over wages.
Staff at France’s main airport went on strike earlier this month on June 9 to demand an increase of 300 euros per month and better working conditions.
This led to the cancellation of 25 percent of flights, with further action scheduled for July 2.
Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports are expected to fill 4,000 jobs, mainly in security, maintenance and travel retail.
Which airlines have organized strikes?
Several airlines, ranging from budget to luxury fleets, have lost staff to strikes in recent weeks and will continue to do so throughout the summer.
The airline announced a complete overhaul of its schedule, with thousands of flights canceled this summer – most of which are from Gatwick and Manchester than crews working in France and Germany.
Cabin crews in Belgium, Spain, Italy and Portugal staged several strikes last week over a dispute over pay and working conditions.
As a result, dozens of flights were canceled and further disruption is expected in some countries later in July.
Ground staff are demanding at least EUR 350 per month for 12 months to absorb the effects of rising inflation.
The first round of negotiations will take place on 30 June, after which further action can be taken.
About 1,000 SAS pilots in Denmark, Norway and Sweden will walk out on June 29 in a row due to wages following plans to cut operating costs.
Heathrow check-in staff have voted to strike in a wage dispute, and some airline employees are also expected to participate in the walk-outs.
The airline responded to the result of a union vote: “We are extremely disappointed with the outcome and that the unions have chosen to follow this course of action.”