Status: 07/03/2022 02:49
Heads or tails – will my flight go ahead or be cancelled? Flying currently seems like a gamble. At the start of the holidays, there is chaos at the airports, not only in Europe, because there is a lack of staff or because there are strikes – like in Spain.
In the middle of the holiday season, 15 flights to and from Spain were canceled on Saturday due to a strike by Spanish cabin crew from low-cost airlines Easyjet and Ryanair. Around 200 other flights to Spain were delayed, unions said. Many airports are affected by the Ryanair strikes: in addition to Madrid, Barcelona and Majorca, Malaga, Seville, Alicante, Valencia, Girona, Ibiza and Santiago de Compostela.
At Ryanair, the strike began on June 24 and is expected to last another 12 days. According to the Spanish union USO, walkouts are planned three more times for four days each at the ten Spanish airports served by the Irish airline. The strike will therefore be from July 12 to 15, from July 18 to 21 and from July 25 to 28. The workers are demanding better working conditions for the 1,900 Spanish cabin crew. According to the Irish company, it brings the most passengers to Spain and offers “more than 650 connections” from 27 Spanish airports.
At the airline Easyjet in Spain, nearly 450 hostesses and stewards were called to strike this weekend, as well as from July 15 to 18 and from July 29 to 31. They demand the same working conditions as Easyjet employees in other EU countries.
Chess also in Paris
Dozens of flights were also canceled at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. The firefighters had already gone on strike on Thursday, which is why several tracks were closed as a precaution. According to airport operator ADP, one in five flights were canceled between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday.
One in six flights was canceled on Thursday and Friday. Paris Orly airport was not affected by the strike. Summer vacation in France starts next week.
Shortage of personnel affecting freight traffic
In addition to the strikes, it is above all the lack of personnel in the airports which is at the origin of the sometimes chaotic handling conditions. In addition to passenger traffic, it now also affects air freight traffic at Frankfurt Airport.
An airline spokeswoman told dpa that the operation of freight airline Lufthansa Cargo was “significantly” disrupted by staff shortages. On Friday, there were four flight cancellations for cargo routes and some delays. In order to unburden the system, an embargo has also been put in place on various animals until July 10. “We continue to analyze the situation at the Frankfurt hub very closely and will take further action if necessary,” the spokeswoman said.
Thousands of US flights canceled or delayed
But the air traffic situation is not only tense in Europe. In the United States too, passengers feel the lack of staff at airports. On Saturday alone, more than 600 flights were canceled in the afternoon (local time), according to flightaware.com, which specializes in air connections. These included domestic flights as well as international flights with US cities as destination or departure. More than 3,300 additional flights were delayed on Saturday.
According to the website, 587 American flights had already been canceled on Friday. Also for Sunday it became clear that many passengers would again be stranded at airports – more than 100 flights have already been cancelled.
The influx of travelers at airports is particularly large this weekend due to Independence Day in the United States. The number of passengers is about the same as before the pandemic.