Passengers queue for the check in desk at Heathrow Terminal 5 airport in London, Britain, June 1, 2022.REUTERS/Hannah McKay

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June 20 (Reuters) – 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. read more

Here is a summary of some of the developments:


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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. read more

** 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 (RYA.I)

Seven unions from Italy, France, Portugal, Belgium and Spain warned in May cabin crew could launch a strike this summer if the airline had no “meaningful response” to their demands for better working conditions. Since then, they have announced plans to strike in all five countries in late June or early July. read more


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


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


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.

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Reporting by Klaus Lauer in Berlin, Juliette Portala and Caroline Paillez in Paris, Toby Sterling in Amsterdam, Paul Sandle in London and Reuters bureaus;
Compiled by Boleslaw Lasocki, Antonis Triantafyllou and Tiago Brandao in Gdansk;
Editing by Milla Nissi, Josephine Mason, Elaine Hardcastle and Tomasz Janowski

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.