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Published on : Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Recent strike called by French air traffic control, has forced two of Europe’s biggest flight services to demand for advance warnings regarding any future strike. More than half-million passengers have faced delays and flight cancellations due to the strike that has angered easyJet and British Airlines authorities .
On 28th June, British Airways has cancelled more than 40 flights and Ryanair has cancelled 170 departures.
At the recent conference by the Airlines for Europe group (A4E) in Brussels, it has been found that in past five years, air traffic control strikes has cost the industry almost €9.5 billion.
The A4E group represents two-third of the aviation industry in the entire continent of Europe. The A4E group has demanded for a three weeks’ notice prior to future strikes. The group has also asked Brussels to make it mandatory to give a 72-hours-notice if the air traffic control decides to stop working. The main motto of A4E is to ensure that the passengers do not get harassed because of delays, flight cancellation and rescheduling.
The Chief Executive of easyJet and the Chair of A4E, Carolyn McCall has stated, “You cannot put a loss on people missing weddings, holidays, important business meetings. We are at the mercy of unreasonable and disproportionate industrial action.”
IAG is the company that owns British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus. Chief Executive of IAG, Willie Walsh has stated, “The figures are shocking. We have just 15,000 people impacting on an industry that moves 900 million people a year. If this was a company that went out of business, it would be the only subject the world would be talking about.”
According to the European passenger-rights rules, the cost of passenger-care has to be provided by the air traffic controllers rather than a particular airline. The European airlines must provide meals and accommodation to the passengers before they reach their destination.
But the air traffic providers have been calling the strikes to cut their costs. If the ANSPs get more financial hits, more strikes will be witnessed in near future.
In the tug of war between air traffic control and airlines, air travellers have been taking most of the heat, that too without any fault on their part.