The airways of the world may face disruption next week, after industrial action was called by the European representatives of 28 unions and over 14,000 controllers, ATCEUC. Air traffic controllers are protesting against plans from the European Commission to cut costs which they say will reduce safety in the skies.

In a statement, ATCEUC stated that in October, they were “given assurances that the european commission (EC) was finally willing to discuss our views on the performance scheme, regarding the lack of real safety targets and the unrealistic cost efficiency targets”. Continuing, “Although ATCEUC has repeatedly shown its commitment to a real discussion, the Ec has continuously disregarded our opinion. This forces ATCEUC, once again, to stand firm by resuming ATCEUC Action Day!”

As a result, industrial action was planned across Europe for the 29th of January, although the anticipated extent of disruption is varying from country to country, with some intending to participate for just 15 minutes, others for days on end. Second to that action, the European Transport Federation (EFT) also called for a strike on the 30th of January.

In France, Air Traffic Controllers called for a 5-day strike from the 27th to the 31st, later to cancel this action but participate in the action on the 30th of January. They also have a meeting to discuss this on Tuesday the 28th.

In Italy, Controllers have currently agreed to strike between 12:00 and 16:00 on the 29th, and from 14:00 to 14:15 on the 30th of January.

In Germany, Lufthansa asked a Munich court to stop their air traffic controllers joining the strike, saying it was “political” and “illegal”. The industrial action here has been cancelled, but with no reason given by the unions.

The Portuguese union called for a strike on the 29th of January between 07:00 and 09:00, and from 14:00 to 16:00.

In Slovakia, the union has announced participation to the strike on 30th of January for 2 hours between 08:00 and 10:00, whereas in the Czech Republic, they currently plan to join in the strike between 06:00 and 18:00 on the 30th, “Working strictly according to the paper”.

Hungary, Austria and Cyprus have also issued notice of their involvement, but all of these plans are subject to change, and cancellation, as the dates creep nearer.

All times quoted are in UTC, which is also known as GMT, and need altering depending on your own location. As always in situations like this, the advice is to check with your airline before you travel.

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