Skycop: airline strikes picking up in strength; losses reach six billion
Compared to the previous year, 2018 so far has not been successful. Fuel prices have increase, as have employee strikes, which continue creating serious problems for European airlines, as BNN was informed by representatives of flight compensation request processing company Skycop.
The company reports that European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, or Eurocontrol, CEO Eamonn Brennan has mentioned that the large number of airline employee strikes has significantly impacted flight arrival accuracy. Data compiled for April details specific strikes that had a major impact on the accuracy of airline operations.
«Although 2017 was a challenging year for the aviation industry, it is still considered a successful year, because the industry had experienced the most rapid passenger turnover increase since 2004. Based on data from ACI Europe, the number of travellers has grown 8.5% over the course of the year. The biggest problems, on the other hand were caused by shortage of pilots and consolidation of European airlines. Continued increase of air passenger numbers is expected this year, as well. However, topical problems with airline operations and continuing strikes make it hard to believe airlines will be able to meet the growing demand,» Skycop representatives say.
The largest number of strikes took place in February. In majority of those cases, participants were from Italian and French airlines. Skycop notes that Air France has suffered fourteen strikes so far. As a result, share value has dropped 9.7% and the company has suffered losses worth more than EUR 300 million. In Italy, there have been three strikes in total this year. All of them had a major impact on airline operations, causing many flights to be delayed or cancelled. The most often reason for labourer strikes is airline management’s refusal to raise wages. All employees – flight crew and flight control crew – oppose this injustice. Although airlines’ profits increase, employees’ wages do not increase at the same time. Because of that, employees turn to trade unions for help, Skycop explains. «The data shows that strikes create inconveniences for more than 1.5 million passengers every year. Unfortunately, European legislation does not protect passengers from the risk of strikes,» says Skycop CEO Marjus Stonkus.
Delayed and cancelled flights create the most problems during the summer season. Trade unions that represent Ryanair flight and maintenance crews in Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Italy have already announced that if airlines’ operations and treatment of their employees do not improve, strikes will be organized during the hottest tourist season – summer, Skycop warns.
Strikes create problems first and foremost for airline passengers. Skycop representatives are confident that under current legislation that governs passengers’ rights are outdated and in need of improvements: «We have been monitoring and analysing the situation in the industry for several months. We urge all passengers to voice their opinions about the existing legislation, mention its flaws by signing a petition on Avaaz internet platform,» adds Stonkus. The petition along with all signatures will be sent to EU authorities, asking them to review and set strikes of labourers an circumstance under which passengers whose flights have been delayed or cancelled because of strikes would become eligible for compensation.