Europe's Summer Travel Strikes: When, Where And What Disruption You Can Expect In July

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Workers across Europe are walking out to protest low pay and poor working conditions.

Europe is a hive of strike action right now, with many employees unhappy that sky-high inflation has not been matched by higher wages.

Walkouts are planned all over Europe, showing that it always pays to check before you travel.

Luckily, we have gathered all of the strike information together below.

Read on to find out where and when are walkouts taking place.

If your flight or train is cancelled or delayed, you will be entitled to a new ticket or compensation. Read our guide for the full details.

Europe: Air traffic controller strikes could affect summer flights

Union Syndicale Bruxelles (USB), a union which represents EU civil servants, has threatened to take industrial action this summer. 

Walkouts from staff at Eurocontrol, which manages Europe's skies, could begin with just five days' notice at any point over the next six months. 

There are no official dates yet which makes it difficult to estimate the impact.

The staff involved work at Eurocontrol's network management centre. This location plays a vital role in ensuring the efficiency of air traffic control across the continent. It validates aircraft's flight plans and checks tens of thousands of messages per day. 

USB says that it has threatened strikes due to a row over a 25 per cent shortage in staff, management behaviour and an imposed roster system. 

France: Travellers warned about ongoing French protests

Unions across France have been in an ongoing battle against an increase in the legal retirement age from 62 to 64.

Protests broke out across the country after President Emmanuel Macron decided to push through the change without a parliamentary vote. Strikes have been ongoing since January and have heavily impacted travel. 

While the pace of industrial action has slowed down, air traffic controller strikes are still having an impact with budget airline Ryanair having to cancel 900 flights in June. 

Delays and limited flights over the country are also causing more airspace congestion over Europe, leading to further disruption. 

Is it safe to travel to France right now?

Violent protests after the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Nahel Merzou sparked warnings from the UK, US and Germany for holidaymakers hoping to visit France in late July and early June. 

In Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Grenoble, Lille and Toulouse, demonstrations spilled over into violence. There were heavy clashes with police, cars set alight and shops looted.

Though the situation has now calmed down, travellers should monitor the news for further updates and follow the advice of authorities.

England: Summer rail and airport strikes

Security staff have called off strikes at London Heathrow Airport after voting to accept a pay offer. 

More than 2,000 staff were due to strike for 31 days this summer. The industrial action would have coincided with the beginning of the school holidays and the August bank holiday in the UK. 

Passengers were worried that it could lead to a repeat of the chaos seen at airports last year. 

But now strikes have been called off, Heathrow has said it is looking forward to delivering an "excellent summer" for travellers. 

Gatwick Airport workers to walk out for 8 days

Planned strikes at London's Gatwick Airport will be significantly less disruptive after staff accepted new pay deals.

Nearly 1,000 workers from four companies were set to walk out for eight days this summer in an argument over pay. 

Only one of the four - ASC baggage handling - is yet to vote on a pay offer. If it is rejected, they will walk out fromFriday 28 July to Tuesday 1 August and then from Friday 4 August to Tuesday 8 August

The impact on passengers isn't yet clear but disruption and delays are still possible.

Rail strikes across the UK in July

Members of the RMT Union are due to strike again on 29 July after walking out on 20 and 22 July. It will affect 14 different rail operators and previous walkouts have caused massive disruption for train services across the country. 

Not all services will be cancelled during the strike and travellers should check the National Rail website before making their journey. 

Train drivers have also announced a fresh overtime ban from 31 July to 5 August. It will see Aslef members at 15 train companies refuse to work overtime, which has previously led to schedule changes and reduced services.

Sweden: Security strikes at airports in July called off

Strikes by the Swedish Transport Workers' Union that would have affected Stockholm Arland Airport, Bromma Stockholm Airport and Gothenburg-Landvetter Airport have been called off. 

The union and industry body Almega Security Companies reached an agreement on improved pay and scheduling policies meaning strikes due to take place in July will no longer take place. 

Italy: Strikes across public transport and airports in July

Transport strikes aren't unusual in Italy during the summer. Industry regulations provide a summer exemption which means there will be no air transport strikes between 27 July and 5 September

Staff at airports across Italy went on strike on 15 July over a failure to renew their contract which expired six years ago. 

A public transport strike also took place on 24 July.

For now, there is no more strike action planned in Italy but it is always worth checking before you travel. 

Spain: Daily strikes from airline staff

Since6 June, the Spanish Union of Airline Pilots has been carrying out a “daily indefinite strike” against Air Nostrum, the regional airline run by Iberia.

The strike has forced the cancellation of 20 per cent of the airline's flights and also delayed other services. 

The strike is taking place every weekday and there are no signs of a breakthrough in talks so far. 

Germany: Further rail strikes possible

Germany's EVG trade union, which represents railway and transport workers, has called a series of 'warning strikes' this year over pay. These have impacted Deutsche Bahn train services, and other rail routes. 

Wage talks collapsed in June, bringing the prospect of more walkouts. Dates are yet to be announced but union members are set to vote on an unlimited strike. 

EVG has said that if no agreement is reached, strikes are likely to take place in autumn which will cause fewer disruptions during the holiday season. 

Lufthansa strikes possible in July

Lufthansa pilots are currently considering a new pay offer from the flag carrier. 

Workers agreed on a truce on strikes that ended on 30 June, meaning summer walkouts could be on the cards if the offer is rejected. 

Unions recently entered into important talks with the airline which will determine whether industrial action takes place. There are no details yet on when a strike could happen. 

Belgium: Ryanair staff plan two day strike

Belgium-based Ryanair pilots are set to strike again this weekend in an argument over enduring pandemic-era pay cuts.

Two trade unions - CNE and ACV Puls - and pilots' union Beca will walk out of at Charleroi airport on 29 and 30 July.

During strikes on 15 and 16 July, more than 80 per cent of pilots took part, leading to more than 100 flight cancellations. 

Ryanair allegedly told pilots in the country that it wanted to cancel an agreement on working hours and rest. They also agreed to a 20 per cent pay cut at the start of the pandemic which is still in place. 

Further strike dates could continue until the COVID-19 agreement expires in October.

"We apologise in advance to passengers planning to travel with Ryanair between now and October 2024 who may be affected by these strikes," the unions said in a press release prior to the initial strike.

"But we can no longer allow Ryanair to violate the basic principles of Belgian social dialogue."

Portugal: EasyJet cabin crew to strike

EasyJet cabin crew in Portugal will carry out their third strike in recent months from 21 to 25 July

It comes after staff rejected a deal on pay and working conditions that the National Union of Civil Aviation Flight Personnel said left them "no more room for negotiation". 

Further strikes could be announced if a pay deal is not reached.

Greece: Wildfires prompt package holiday cancellations and evacuations

While Greece is not currently affected by transport strikes, wildfires on the islands of Rhodes and Corfu have led to evacuations and holiday cancellations.

For more information on the current situation, check out our Greece travel advice.

If you know of a big strike happening in your country that we have missed, we'd love to hear from you via Twitter.