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British Airways

British Airlines Demand Advance Notice of Strikes

British Airlines Demand Advance Notice of Strikes
Joe Cortez

Call comes after an estimated 500,000 passengers caught in post-strike havoc

Another round of French air traffic control strikes have impacted flight schedules and passengers, leaving European airlines calling for changes in labor disruption notifications. The Independent reports two of Britain’s largest carriers – IAG owned British Airways and easyJet – are demanding reforms on how strike information is passed on to airlines.

The renewed calls come on the heels of another French air traffic controller strike on Tuesday, June 28. As many as 500,000 passengers across Europe were affected when controllers walked off the job, forcing dozens of flights to be cancelled.

The work stoppages do not just create logistical problems for passengers attempting to get home and airlines trying to move goods and aircraft from one place to another. In a report released by Airlines for Europe (A4E), air traffic control strikes between 2010 and 2015 cost Europe over $10 billion in gross domestic product, associated with over 131,000 jobs. Their analysis also concluded there was at least one day of disruption roughly every two weeks as a result of air traffic control strikes.

“You cannot put a loss on people missing weddings, holidays [and] important business meetings,” Carolyn McCall, chief executive of easyJet and chair of A4E, told The Independent. ”We are at the mercy of unreasonable and disproportionate industrial action.”

Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG which operates British Airways and Iberia, echoed the concerns not knowing when strikes will take place. Walsh pushed the cost of delayed passenger assistance back on the air traffic providers and their employees, blaming them for the problem.

“We have just 15,000 people impacting on an industry that moves 900 million people a year,” Walsh told The Independent. “If this was a company that went out of business, it would be the only subject the world would be talking about.”

Previous air traffic strikes this year have targeted major events, as many travelers attempt to transit through the Central European country. Earlier in June, French labor unions SNPL and SPAF began strikes centering around the Euro 2016 tournament.

[Photo: British Airways]

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