Airport strikes set to worsen expected UK travel chaos this summer

Airport strikes set to worsen expected UK summer travel chaos
Passengers flying from Manchester this summer could face major disruption (@Robertvt/Adobe Stock)

Industrial action across airports in Europe this summer could worsen the expected travel chaos across the UK.

Early this morning (Thursday), Ryanair cancelled 100 flights to Paris last minute due to strikes by French air traffic controllers.

The low-cost carrier cancelled flights from Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh and Belfast – with thousands of passengers set to be affected.

Yesterday, Ryanair bosses hit out at the European Commission for failing to intervene to prevent the strikes.

According to BirminghamLive, a spokesperson for the airline said: “It is inexplicable that Ursula von der Leyen and the EU Commission have failed to take action to protect EU passengers’ freedom of movement during these repeated French ATC strikes.

“EU passengers are sick and tired of suffering unnecessary cancellations during ATC strikes,” the spokesperson added.

British Airways this week hinted this summer could be the busiest for air travel in the UK since the pandemic.

The British flag carrier is looking to take on an additional 350 workers – from customer service to ground handling staff – to mitigate the expected travel disruption.

But strikes are set to continue in France this month. The industrial action is likely to impact UK operations.

Air traffic controllers at Paris-Orly Airport have filed to strike from 11-13 June.

The news comes as passengers hoping to fly from Manchester this summer have been warned of major disruption and delays due to “essential overnight resurfacing works” on the UK’s M56 motorway from 10 June through to August. The road takes travellers to the airport’s front doors.

Manchester Airport said: “National Highways are carrying out essential overnight resurfacing works on both sides of the M56 between Junction 4 and Junction 7.

“Works are due to start on Monday 10 June 2024 and completed by August 2024,” it added.

“Closures will take place between 21:00 and 05:00, Monday to Friday, and extending to 07:00 on Saturdays.”

Low-cost airline Jet2 has warned passengers to “allow enough time to travel to Manchester Airport as all flights are due to operate as scheduled”.