Could your flight be cancelled? Check our timeline of summer strikes and disruption


Holidaymakers face a summer of flight chaos, as British Airways has become the latest airline to announce strike action during the peak holiday period.

Check-in staff and ground crew for the UK flag carrier today voted to go on strike, with walkouts timed for the start of the summer holidays.

This comes as Ryanair and easyJet staff across Europe prepare to strike through late June and early July, along with other European airlines such as Lufthansa, Air France and SAS, over ongoing disputes concerning working conditions and pay.

In recent weeks there has been chaos at airports across the continent unrelated to strike action, as airlines and airports struggle with staff shortages following the pandemic. Thousands of flights from the UK have been cancelled in this period, with easyJet one of the worst-affected airlines and Ryanair one of the least impacted.

And the disruption is set to continue as Gatwick last week opted to cap its flight departures through July and August, a move that will lead to thousands of easyJet flight cancellations during the period.

Elsewhere, Heathrow is recovering after a weekend of baggage handling disruption, after a “technical issue” saw hundreds of unclaimed bags piled up outside terminal 2.

Below we outline the airline strikes, planned flight cancellations and airport departure capacity limits that have already been announced in the UK and across Europe.

June 23–25

Brussels Airlines strikes

The Belgian flag carrier is set to be impacted by three days of strike action. A total of 525 flights are scheduled over this period, but it is unknown how many will be cancelled as a result.

June 24 – July 2

Ryanair strike action in Europe

Ryanair employees across Europe are due to take part in strike action over an ongoing dispute concerning pay and conditions. Ryanair staff are due to strike in Belgium and Portugal from June 24–26, in France from June 25–26, in Italy on June 25, and in Spain from June 24–26, on June 30, and from July 1–2.

June 25

Italian strike action

Pilots and flight attendants from easyJet, MaltAir and CrewLink, as well as Ryanair (see above), will be walking out as they call for “acceptable contractual agreements” and “salaries aligned with the minimum national standards”.

Air France pilot strike

Air transport union Alter has called for pilots from Air France and its low-cost unit Transavia to walk out on Saturday. However, only 10 per cent of pilots are part of the union and Air France has said it does not expect services to be affected.

June 29

SAS pilot strike

Pilots from Norway, Sweden and Denmark working for Scandinavian airline SAS could carry out coordinated strike action on June 29. Depending on how negotiations progress, the strike could happen as early as June 24.

July 1–August 31

Gatwick flights capped

Gatwick Airport has capped the number of flight departures during the peak summer season to 825 daily flights in July and 850 in August. This could lead to the cancellation of as many as 10,000 flights this summer, with easyJet likely to be the most-affected airline. A spokesperson for the airline said: “In response to these caps and in order to build additional resilience, easyJet is proactively consolidating a number of flights across affected airports.”

July 1–3

EasyJet cabin crew strike in Spain

Spanish workers for the UK’s biggest airline are in a deadlock with their employer over pay, which could lead to a series of strikes through July. This comes after easyJet has already cancelled thousands of flights this summer due to staff shortages at Gatwick (see above).

July 1–30

Lufthansa cancellations

German flag carrier Lufthansa will cancel up to 1,000 flights on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through July, making up around 5 per cent of the airline’s total weekend services. The move is to avoid further disruption due to ongoing staff shortages.

July 15–17

EasyJet cabin crew strike in Spain

The second proposed dates for a cabin crew walkout in Spain.

July 29–31

EasyJet cabin crew strike in Spain

The third proposed dates for a cabin crew walkout in Spain.

Late July–August

British Airways strikes at Heathrow

Hundreds of BA check-in and ground staff at the UK’s biggest airport have voted in favour of walkouts during the peak summer holiday period, in an ongoing dispute over pay. If the strikes go ahead, BA (which operates from terminals 3 and 5) has said it will cover staff shortages, but passengers will still face possible disruption and cancellations, particularly from terminal 5.

Has your flight been cancelled this summer? Comment below to join the conversation

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