More strikes on the way, say airlines

Travel across Europe could be affected on March 20
Europe’s airlines are warning of more potential disruption from air traffic control strikes on March 20.
Italian air traffic controllers are preparing to take industrial action on that day, just over a week after five days of action by French ATC staff, Airlines for Europe (A4E) says.
If the strike goes ahead, disruption is likely to be less severe than last week, but flights to destinations like Greece and Malta may be affected as well as those heading to and from Italy.
A4E, which includes IAG, Lufthansa, Norwegian, Ryanair and Icelandair among others, is calling for a ban on strike action by ATC staff without a 72-hour notification.
It also wants upper airspace to be free of geographical boundaries, making it easier for flights to continue to destinations throughout Europe and beyond.
A4E claims that in the 2010-16 period, there were 217 ATC strike days in the EU – one every nine days.
“In total, there were 278 disrupted days if you take into account the days before and after an ATC strike as flights had to be cancelled in advance and accumulated delays spilt over to the next day,” it says.
Last week’s strike, over working conditions that affect safety, caused more than 1,500 flight cancellations and saw airlines cut the number of flights across France by 25%.
In related news, ground staff at Berlin’s two airports are extending a walkout over pay that has grounded almost all flights to and from the German capital. The stoppage started at 04:00 on Monday and will now continue until early Wednesday.
TTG Digital / AFP

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