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European Flyers Frustrated by Ongoing Strikes


Europeans are growing exceedingly frustrated by strikes that are crippling air travel in the region.

How many strikes are considered too many? According to new survey data published by Bloomberg BusinessWeek, European flyers are starting to feel the push of too many airline pilots’ strikes.

Based on data published by Bloomberg, two polls conducted in France and Germany show that many Europeans are against the pilots’ strikes that have been tying up the skies. One survey, completed last week by French research firm Tilder-LCI-Opinionway, reported that 69 percent of flyers polled found the Air France pilots’ reasons for the strike to be “unjustified.” In a survey completed by German firm Forsa last spring, 71 percent of Germans found that Lufthansa pilots’ strike rationale was also “unjustified.”

In September, the pilots union for Air France, SNPL, declared a two-week strike, protesting the flag carrier’s plans to expand low-cost carrier service within Europe. According to The New York Times, the strike cost Air France an estimated $353.6 million in lost flights and productivity.

Meanwhile, Lufthansa pilots continue to wage their own strikes. According to Deutsche Welle, a walkout on September 30 marked the pilots’ fifth strike of 2014. The pilots are protesting the airline’s proposal to increase the retirement age and build up a low-cost carrier to service flyers within Germany. Pilots’ strikes this year alone have caused more than 4,000 flight cancellations for Lufthansa.

Both airlines are trying to find ways to cut costs, due to increased competition from low-cost carriers such as Ryanair and EasyJet. For now, the airlines are finding ways to work with the pilots’ unions, in order to keep aircraft in the skies while working towards a permanent solution.

[Photo: iStock]

Comments are Closed.
relangford October 2, 2014

Maybe I've missed something, but how does costing your employer over $350M help keep them from starting a LCC? It seems that AF would now need the LCC to make up losses from these stupid strikes. When I was young, I was told not to bite the hand that feeds you. It seems AF and LH pilots have yet to learn that. Hard to feel sorry for people (European pilots) who make many times what I make and work about 1/4 the number of hours that I do.

viajero boricua October 1, 2014

Something the Europeans (unions, companies and the paying public alike) may not like would be into looking into a version (seasoned to their tates, of course) "the American solution"... Whenever ANY transportation company's union tries to invoke a strike there is a US Federal law (the Taft–Hartley Act, officially the United States Labor Management Relations Act of 1947) that the company invokes (and the US Federal Courts accede to or deny) to make striking workers go back to work immediately and impose arbitration (sit the parts with a "referee" to solve the grievance) on any grievances before any strikes are legally put in effect. I know it's REAL TOUGH (just search for it) on employees and their unions, but Europeans should see if any of it may make maintain FREE COMMERCE (one of the things free flow of travel does help mantain) between at least EU countries...