Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.


Strikes to Disrupt French Rail and Air Traffic on Tuesday

1 year ago

Train and air services throughout France will be disrupted on Tuesday by a nationwide strike against pension reforms, French authorities said on Sunday.  

French rail operator SNCF said that it would operate only about half of its usual number of high-speed, domestic trains while one out of four trains on the Eurostar line to London would not operate. France’s civil aviation authority also said it expected delays and disruptions to hit airports although it would activate minimum services guarantees. The agency asked airlines to reduce flights out of Paris’ Orly Airport by 20 percent on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s nationwide strike is the third since the French government unveiled plans in January to raise the pension age by two years to 64. More than 1.2 million people took part in protests around France during the second round of strikes on January 31.

A high-speed train in France
Strikes are expected to disrupt French trains on Tuesday, February 7


Eurowings Pilots to Strike After Wage Talks Collapse

2 years ago

The Lufthansa Group cannot catch a break. Pilots at its budget subsidiary, Eurowings, will go on strike Thursday unless a last minute deal on wages can be reached.

Pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit said Tuesday that wage negotiations had “failed” and called for a one-day strike on October 6. The move came after 10 rounds of talks between the union and Eurowings without an agreement, Vereinigung Cockpit said.

eurowings at stuttgart-airport

The strike would be the second to hit the Lufthansa Group in as many months. Pilots grounded more than 800 flights at Lufthansa when they struck on September 2. Additional one-day industrial actions planned for later in September were averted when the airline and Vereinigung Cockpit reached a deal on wages.

The industrial actions come after a rough summer for airlines and travelers in Europe. Staffing issues at airports and airlines, as well as strikes at several carriers including bankrupt SAS, made flying on the continent a challenge for many. Adding to the woes was strong travel demand and full flights that made it difficult to reaccommodate disrupted flyers.

“The return to full normalization in terms of personnel, in terms of reliability, punctuality and our products … we believe we will reach this phase next year,” Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr said in August.

Eurowings is the 11th largest airline in Europe and is scheduled to operate 507 flights on Thursday, according to Diio by Cirium schedules. Its operations are concentrated in Germany with large bases in Dusseldorf, Cologne-Bonn, Hamburg, and Stuttgart.


Bankrupt Airline SAS and Pilots Reach Deal Ending Two-Week Strike

2 years ago

Scandinavian airline SAS and its pilot unions reached a deal late on Monday that ended a 15-day strike.

The multi-year accord includes needed cost savings and productivity improvements for the airline, SAS said. And pilots received a commitment from the carrier to rehire 450 furloughed crew members, as well as SAS’s backing of a $97 million (1 billion Swedish kroner) unsecured claim by the unions in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding.

But the strike came at a cost for SAS. The airline was forced to file for bankruptcy in the U.S. the day after crews walked out on July 4; a process that is expected to take up to a year to complete and does not come with the guarantee of success for SAS. In addition, the airline cancelled roughly 3,700 flights over the 15-day industrial action that cost it at least $145 million.

SAS Airbus A320 landing at London Heathrow
(Matt Kieffer/Flickr)

“With these agreements in place, the pilots are doing their part in this difficult situation,” SAS CEO Anko van der Werff said in a statement. “We now get on with the important work of progressing our transformation plan SAS Forward and building a strong and competitive SAS for generations to come … The strike has been a tough situation for our customers, for our employees, and for our company as a whole.”

Despite the agreement, SAS had cancelled 99 flights — or 32 percent of its schedule — as of 10:00 a.m. in Europe on Tuesday, according to flight tracking website FlightAware. The airline warned travelers that flight disruptions are expected to “continue during the following days” as it returns to normal operations.