Ryanair has launched a petition demanding more action from Europe's leaders. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


According to Eurocontrol it is going to be a “challenging” summer for British tourists flying to top European holiday destinations such as the Balearics and mainland Spain due to a wave of industrial action being taken across Europe, especially by French air traffic controllers and the sheer number of flights operating in reduced air space due to the war in Ukraine.

Eurocontrol, which manages European airspace, reported its concerns as the peak summer holiday period begins with the number of flights over the next eight weeks up almost eight per cent on the same period last year to around 33,000 a day.

Raúl Medina, Eurocontrol’s director-general, said: “This summer in Europe is challenging as we have less available airspace because of the war in Ukraine and the military needs . . . We need everyone to play their part.

Airports need to be well staffed, it is vital air traffic services provide enough capacity and airlines stick to their schedules.”

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Last month, European airlines called on the European Commission to take more action to mitigate the impact of strikes on travel this summer with demand for flights set to soar. Strikes have rolled across Europe this year and causined plenty of problems during the Easter travel season.

Now, analysts and airlines fear travellers could face another summer of disruption on a similar scale to last year.

Specifically, air traffic controller strikes in France have led to delays and limited flights across the country, causing more air space congestion in Europe and prompting Ryanair to launch a petition demanding more action from Europe’s leaders.

The petition currently has over 964,000 signatures and, if it reaches one million, would warrant a response from the Commission.

“Millions of Europeans are eager to travel this summer, and strikes stand to shatter their plans,” said Laurent Donceel, acting managing director of trade group Airlines for Europe (A4E), which represents airlines such as Ryanair, Lufthansa and Air France-KLM .