June 23, 2024


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The European travel industry is currently grappling with a wave of disruptions, largely due to ongoing strikes across the continent. These strikes, primarily driven by workers protesting low pay and poor working conditions, have resulted in numerous flight cancellations and delays, causing chaos at airports and affecting the plans of countless travelers.

The Current State of Air Travel in Europe

Despite the disruptions, it’s not all doom and gloom for those planning to travel to Europe. With flights yet to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels, many tourist destinations that are typically crowded now offer shorter lines and wait times. This means that travelers can enjoy these attractions without having to contend with large crowds.

However, the air traffic management body Eurocontrol has warned that reaching pre-pandemic traffic levels will not be easy. The organization cites several challenges, including supply chain issues, possible industrial action, airspace unavailability, sector bottlenecks, rising demand, and system changes.

The Impact of Strikes on Travel

Strikes can significantly disrupt travel plans. Flights can be cancelled due to strikes by air traffic control staff, ground staff, or plane crew. Such disruptions can also affect other areas, such as retail and cleaning services, leading to delays and poorer service for passengers.

In 2022, voluminous Americans who dropped in on Europe had their summer holiday plans blemished by travel chaos instigated by strikes and employee shortages. Similar disruptions are expected this year, with several strikes already called for by tram, subway, and other transport workers.

Specific Cases of Strike-Related Disruptions

Several airlines and airports have been affected by the ongoing strikes. For instance, the French aviation regulator asked carriers to cancel a third of their flights from Paris-Orly airport on June 6 due to a planned ATC strike. Ryanair had to cancel 400 flights due to this 36-hour strike.

Italy’s air traffic control organization, ENAV, affirmed that no strikes would occur in the Italian aviation industry from July 27 to September 5 due to a summer indemnity delivered for in the industry policies. However, multiple unions have called for a nationwide airport staff strike on July 15 related to talks for a new collective contract.

In Portugal, Easyjet’s cabin crew will go on strike between July 21 and July 25 after 90% of workers represented by the SNPVAC union rejected the airline’s proposal. In Spain, pilots at Iberia Regional Air Nostrum went on a daily indefinite strike on June 6 amid a pay dispute.

In Britain, around 950 workers at Gatwick airport, including ground staff, baggage handlers, and check-in agents, will strike due to a pay dispute from July 28–August 1 and from August 4–8. This strike is projected to sternly sway the airport’s security and terminal preservation, leading to flight delays.

How Strikes Could Affect Your Travels

Travelers preparing to visit Europe during this period should be ready for potential disruptions. Attacks can lead to flight cancellations, delays, and other embarrassments. It’s advisable to stay informed on the latest news concerning strikes and plans.

If you’re wondering about a country where a strike is looming, consider your ability to handle the commotion. If the strike is widespread and could make getting around difficult or impossible, especially for older individuals or those with mobility issues, it might be worth reviewing your travel plans.

Though, keep in mind that labor movements typically don’t last very long. Even if you are troubled, it probably won’t be for more than a day. Consequently, while the ongoing strikes in Europe may cause some commotion, they should not ruin a whole trip.


The continuing strikes across Europe are causing significant disruptions to air travel. However, with careful planning and a supple mindset, travelers can still enjoy their European escapade. Stay informed about modern developments, consider the possible impact of strikes on your travel plans, and make choices that ensure your safety and ease. Despite the challenges, Europe remains a vibrant and exciting terminus that continues to attract travelers from around the world.

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