Flight Delays and Air Traffic Control Strikes: What You Should Know

Monday, July 17th, 2023

Travellers going to and from Gran Canaria and other European destinations are concerned about recent events with air traffic control strikes at Eurocontrol and aircraft disruptions. Here is the most recent info on the circumstance.

What Eurocontrol does

The European agency in charge of safeguarding the security of air navigation is called Eurocontrol. It coordinates the management of air traffic throughout Europe, enabling smooth passage through the airspace of various nations. An average of 33,000 planes per day are planned to go across European airspace during the course of the next eight weeks. This number may even approach 34,000 flights on days with heavy traffic, like Fridays. The network manager operations centre (NMOC) of Eurocontrol, which is crucial to simplifying air traffic control operations across the continent, is impacted by the current disagreement.

Status of the strike and its potential effects

No verified strikes have yet occurred. Employees at the Eurocontrol operations centre are represented by the Union Syndicale Bruxelles (USB), which has issued a “pre-warning” regarding prospective strike action in the upcoming six months. There has been no announcement of precise strike dates because negotiations are still going on.

The repercussions of a walkout are not yet known, despite numerous headlines forecasting substantial air transport disruptions in the case of a strike. The management of Eurocontrol’s activities would face difficulties in the event of a USB strike, although airspace is expected to remain open. As a result, the effects of an NMOC strike on passengers might be mitigated.

Airline cancellations

In a recent report, EasyJet stated that 1,700 flights, or about 2% of all of its flights scheduled for July and August, have been cancelled. The airline ascribed this proactive modification to the “challenging air traffic environment.” Most of the affected travellers have already been rescheduled on different flights. In June, Ryanair also had to cancel almost 900 flights, mostly because of strikes by French air traffic controllers.

Keeping yourself informed

Despite the possibility of problems, it’s critical to avoid overreacting to the situation due to sensational headlines. The best advise for travellers is to be updated by checking official statements from airlines, air traffic control agencies, and dependable news sources as negotiations and conversations progress. Check with your airline as well if there are any changes, as they can provide you the most precise and recent information about your journey.

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