0

Strikes and staff shortages are forcing airlines to cancel thousands of flights and causing hours-long queues at major airports, dashing hopes of a sizzling first summer after COVID lockdowns.

Here is a summary of some of the developments:

LABOUR UNREST:

After sweeping job cuts and pay cuts when COVID-19 brought travel to a grinding halt, staff across the industry from pilots to baggage handlers are asking for big pay increases and better working conditions.

Norwegian Air (NAS.OL) earlier in June agreed a 3.7% pay rise for pilots among other benefits, in a sign of what other airlines may have to offer to avoid labour strife.

Heathrow

IAG-owned (ICAG.L) British Airways check-in staff at Britain's busiest airport may strike next month over a pandemic-driven pay cut they say has not been fully restored.

Brussels

A day of strikes in Belgium over the cost of living forced Brussels Airport to cancel all departing flights on Monday and halted many bus services across the country. read more

Charles de Gaulle, Paris

Workers at France's main airport went on strike on June 9 to demand a 300 euro ($313) per month increase and better working conditions, leading to the cancellation of 25% of flights. Further action is planned for July 2. read more

Ryanair

British pilots of Ryanair accepted a revised offer on post-COVID pay restoration, while unions representing cabin crew in Belgium, Portugal, France, Italy and Spain prepare to strike for between one and three days each later this week. read more

Easyjet

Spain-based cabin crew at easyJet plan to go on strike for nine days in July, demanding a 40% increase in their basic salary which is much lower than in countries such as France and Germany, local union USO said. read more

Lufthansa

A German trade union representing Lufthansa ground staff is demanding at least 350 euros per month more over 12 months to cushion the effects of soaring inflation, with first round of negotiations set to take place June 30. read more

SAS AB

Some 1,000 SAS pilots in Denmark, Norway and Sweden will walk out on June 29 over disagreements over wages and cost-cutting plans at the struggling Nordic airline. read more

REDUCED SUMMER SCHEDULES:

EasyJet on Monday said it was cutting thousands more flights this summer in the latest example of airlines cutting capacity, while airports, including Gatwick and Schiphol, are limiting the volume of passengers they will handle over the summer. read more

HIRING SPREE AND INCENTIVES:

Airports and airlines are scrambling to hire more workers from pilots to security and border control staff and baggage handlers after many left during the COVID-19 crisis.

Industry executives say it is hard to recruit for often physically demanding, relatively low paid work at airports often located out of town. Training staff and getting them security clearance to work at airports also takes months.

Schiphol has agreed to pay 15,000 cleaners, baggage handlers and security staff 5.25 euros ($5.50) extra per hour during the summer.

One of Europe's busiest airports needs to hire 500 security staff. Before the pandemic, there were 68,000 workers in and around the airport, now there are 58,000. read more

The Portuguese government plans to more than double border control staff at the country's six airports by July 4. read more

In Spain, the police will hire 500 more staff taking the total to 1,700 deployed at the country's busiest airports, including Madrid and Barcelona.

At German airports, around 20% of positions in security, check-in and aircraft handling are vacant, according to Ralph Beisel, general manager at the airport association ADV.

There is a shortfall of 2,000 workers in ground handling.

The country's aviation lobby - airlines, airports and ground service providers - has asked the federal government to allow them to hire 2,000 temporary workers from Turkey.

Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports in Paris need to fill 4,000 jobs mainly in security, maintenance and travel retail, according to airport operator Groupe ADP and the CDG Alliance.

More than 20,000 people were laid off at Charles de Gaulle during the pandemic, according to the CGT union.

Airport security company ICTS which operates at Charles de Gaulle is offering a one-off 180 euro bonus to those delaying their vacation until after Sept. 15 and 150 euros for staff who sign up new recruits, according to a CGT union representative.