European Aviation Strikes: What’s the Latest

  • European Aviation Strikes: What’s the Latest

    European Aviation Strikes: What’s the Latest

    Another summer of strikes is hitting European aviation. With commercial aviation being a labor intensities industry that requires many work groups to work, if one workgroup is unhappy with their contract – the entire airport or airline can be and does get disrupted.

    Below is a general overview of where things stand in European aviation labor relations.

    easyJet Portugal

    easyJet’s Portuguese base of cabin crew, represented by the SNPVAC union, has canceled 350 easyJet flights to or from Lisbon, Porto, and Faro. This is the third strike in 2023 on the matter.


    Arguably the most impactful of labor disruptions in European aviation is Eurocontrol’s threatened action disrupting air traffic control for 30,000+ daily flights throughout the continent. These disruptions, coupled with the ongoing French air traffic control slowdowns, could mean that the ability to coordinate air traffic control across the European continent crumbles.

    France Air Traffic Control

    The ongoing strike over French President Macron’s pension reforms is reducing French overflight capacity. Ryanair is publicly annoyed and petitioned to end the labor action via the European Union.

    Gatwick Airport

    Unite the Union, on July 14, issued a statement advising that at London Gatwick Airport, ASC, Menzies Aviation, GGS, and DHL Services Ltd. primarily undertaking ground handling, baggage handling, ramp agent, dispatchers, and check-in agents will be participating in strike action, several times the next two months over what Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said was,

    The strike action will take place between Friday, July 28 and Tuesday, August 1. Then a further four days from Friday, August 4 until Tuesday, August 8.

    London Gatwick Airport Shutterstock
    Photo: Sue Martin/Shutterstock

    Airlines at the business end, for now, include British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair, TUI, WestJet, and Wizz Air. However, further strike action out of Gatwick is a possibility. Unite’s statement made clear Unite is also balloting its members at DHL Gatwick Direct, Red Handling and Wilson James.

    All three ballots will close on Monday, July 31, so if workers vote for industrial action, the strikes in these companies could begin by the middle of next month.

    Iberia Regional Air Nostrum

    The Spanish regional airline Iberia Regional Aor Nostrum is still having a pilot’s strike every Monday and Friday. Questions exist about how long this will go on.


    Multiple unions have called a nationwide strike on July 15 related to talks for a new contract. Air traffic controllers, baggage handlers, and check-in personnel, along with Italian pilots of Vueling, will walk out between 10:00 and 18:00. local time. Malta Air pilots and flight attendants will join from noon until 4 pm.

    This strike action is being taken before the legally required summer pause on such disruptions on July 27 until September 5.

    Ryanair Belgium

    Ryanair’s Belgian subsidiary’s on pilot strike this weekend, with about 140 flights impacted. Pilots are demanding proper rest and pay.

    Bottom line

    This is not a complete list of strike action that can affect your holiday plans this summer. Please check both the airline website and Simple Flying for the latest on labor disruptions.

    By: Joe Kunzler / Simple Flying

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