Tag: strike

France on strike…. Again!

Foreign Office issues travel alert for France

The Foreign Office is warning travellers to France that journeys by air, rail and sea are likely to be affected due to a strike by transport workers today.

Airlines have been told the cancel 20% of flights from Paris Orly and a third of flights from Marseille airports as air traffic controllers are staging a 36-hour walkout.

At Paris Charles de Gaulle, flights are more likely to be affected by delays than cancellations.

However, the strike is also hitting flights to other European destinations that pass over French airspace.

Ryanair has cancelled around 80 flights across Europe, including more than a dozen from the UK to France, Spain and Italy.

British Airways said it had cancelled an unspecified number of flights to and from France but warned that other European flights which use French airspace will be affected and passengers should be prepared for delays and cancellations.

“We will be using larger aircraft, where possible, to help affected customers and are doing all we can to reduce the levels of disruption'” said the airline.

EasyJet has cancelled a number of flights and it is warning passengers who are still due to travel that public transport in France will also be affected.

In a statement on its website, the airline added: “We are disappointed at this unnecessary strike action, coming so close to the ATC strikes of last week, and causing further disruption for passengers and airlines across Europe.

“As a member of Airlines for Europe (A4E), we are working with other airlines including Air France KLM, Finnair, International Airlines Group (IAG), Lufthansa Group, Norwegian and Ryanair, to call on governments and the EU to develop an action plan to minimise the impact of ATC strikes on passengers.

“We are doing everything possible to minimise the impact of the strike on our customers, and have taken the decision to proactively cancel a number of flights, allowing customers to reorganise their journeys. We will communicate to affected customers directly via SMS using the details provided at the time of booking.

“For cancelled flights, any affected customers will be offered a free of charge transfer to a new flight or a full refund. We strongly advise customers to avoid rebooking flights on the same day, as there is the possibility of further disruption.

“We advise all passengers to allow plenty of extra time to get to the airport and consider alternative transport options where possible, as public transport services will be also affected by the strike.”

Eurostar services to Paris and Lille appear to be operating as normal, but a quarter of Metro train services in Paris have been cancelled and only half of all commuter trains are operating. TGV high speed and regional trains have also been affected.

In Paris, the Eiffel Tower is closed, according to The Local website, as workers have joined the strike.

When will the French learn that they are doing irreparable harm to their country?

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Lufthansa: Week-long strike grounds nearly half a million fliers

Another day, another strike-related mess for Lufthansa’s customers.

The carrier grounded about a third of its entire flight schedule on Thursday as striking flight attendants walked off the job for the sixth time in seven days.

The labor disruption forced the German carrier to cancel more than 930 flights, including most of its Thursday schedule to the United States. Lufthansa estimates that Thursday’s disruption has stranded 107,000 of its customers. The carrier has already pared its Friday schedule as well, preemptively canceling more than 940 flights that will impact about 111,000 fliers.

FLIGHT TRACKER: Is your flight on time?

The overall toll of the attendants strike has been staggering since it first began last Friday (Nov. 6). Combined, Lufthansa has canceled about 3,700 flights affecting more than 440,000 passengers – nearly half a million travelers.

Among the key disputes are retirement benefits. In particular, attendants are reportedly unhappy on Lufthansa’s plans regarding “transition” payments for members who retire early. Such transition payments help guarantee wages and benefits until government plans began at standard retirement ages.

Strikes have become a recurring problem for Lufthansa, which has been working to cut costs this decade. The carrier is facing increased competition in Europe low-cost rivals and in international markets from the rapid global expansion of Persian Gulf rivals Emirates,Etihad and Qatar Airways.

The strikes have come with a price tag. Bloomberg News estimates “Lufthansa’s losses from a series of crippling strikes over the past 10 months are set to surpass 230 million euros ($247 million), eclipsing expenses from a spate of walkouts last year.”

JFK, LGA Workers To Strike Wednesday Night

JFK, LGA Workers To Strike Wednesday Night

PHOTO: A plane readies for takeoff at John F. Kennedy International Airport. (Courtesy of Thinkstock)

Air travel at New York City’s two biggest airports could be snarled for the next two days as contract workers for Service Employees International Union’s Local 32BJ voted to walk off the job at 10 p.m. Wednesday, July 22 at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 7.

The strike is scheduled to end at 1 a.m. Thursday, July 23 then resume at 6 a.m. the same day at LaGuardia Airport unless an agreement is reached.

The more than 1,000 contract workers, which include baggage handlers, security officers and wheelchair attendants, all work for Command Security Corp. subsidiary Aviation Safeguards. SEIU has said Aviation Safeguards tried to stop its employees from unionizing, a charge the company denies.

In a statement, the union said, “While the airlines have been making record profits and the Port Authority has approved billions of dollars to modernize LaGuardia airport, the airport workers who make these profits possible are struggling to survive.”

JFK processes more than 50 million passengers a year and Terminal 7 is home to three of its biggest airlines – United, British Airways and Cathay Pacific.

It appears the union workers made at least a conciliatory gesture in starting the strike at 10 p.m., a time when fewer flights are coming in and out of JFK. But if the walkout continues into Thursday at LaGuardia, it could have an effect on Delta Air Lines, which controls more than nearly a quarter of all traffic at LGA.

In a statement issued to Bloomberg News, Delta said it “will be taking measures to ensure that our more than 35,000 customers booked through LaGuardia on Thursday are not affected.”

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, which runs New York City’s airports, told Bloomberg in a statement that it “has taken significant steps in recent years to encourage wage and benefit increases for employees of airline contractors at its airports.”