Travel

Factbox: Summer Chaos in Europe

Passengers queue at the check-in counter at Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 in London, UK on June 1, 2022. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

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June 19 (Reuters) – Strikes and staffing shortages are forcing airlines to cancel thousands of flights and cause hours of queues at major airports, shattering hopes for a hot first post-COVID summer. read more

Here’s what we know:

SAFE HANDLING:

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After massive job cuts and massive pay cuts as COVID-19 brought travel to a complete halt, employees across the industry, from pilots to porters, are demanding massive wage increases and improved working conditions.

Last week, Norwegian Air (NAS.OL) agreed to a 3.7% increase in pilot wages among other perks, a sign that other airlines can offer to avoid labor disputes. read more

**Heathrow

IAG-owned (ICAG.L) British Airways check-in staff at the UK’s busiest airport could go on strike next month over pandemic-driven pay cuts they say have not been fully reinstated.

** Brussels

Security personnel at Brussels Airport are planning to turn off the instruments on June 20, while Brussels Airlines pilots plan to turn off the instruments on June 23-25.

**Charles de Gaulle, Paris

Workers at France’s main airport went on strike on June 9 demanding a €300 ($313) a month wage increase and better working conditions, leading to the cancellation of 25% of flights. The next action is scheduled for July 2. read more

**Ryanair (RYA.I)

Seven unions from Italy, France, Portugal, Belgium and Spain warned flight attendants in May that they could go on strike this summer if the airline did not offer a “meaningful response” to their demands for better working conditions.

Since then, Portuguese and Spanish flight attendants have announced plans to go on strike in late June and early July. read more

** CAC AB (CAC.ST)

Some 1,000 SAS pilots in Denmark, Norway and Sweden could leave from the end of June due to wage disputes and ways to cut costs at the struggling Scandinavian airline. read more

REDUCED SUMMER SCHEDULE:

Airlines including Deutsche Lufthansa and EasyJet are cutting flights, and airports including Gatwick and Schiphol are limiting the number of passengers they will serve during the summer. read more

RECRUITMENT AND INCENTIVES:

Airports and airlines are scrambling to hire more workers, from pilots to security and border control officers to movers, after many left the industry during the COVID-19 crisis.

Industry executives say it’s hard to get people to take on the often hard and relatively low-paying jobs at airports, often located outside the city. It also takes months to train staff and obtain permission to work at airports.

** Schiphol agreed to pay 15,000 cleaners, movers and security personnel at €5.25 ($5.50) an hour extra during the summer.

One of Europe’s busiest airports needs to hire 500 security personnel. Before COVID, 68,000 people worked in and around the airport, now there are 58,000….

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