June 21, 2018 / 3:43 PM / 3 months ago

UK airline bosses demand action from Brussels on air-controller strikes

LONDON, June 21 (Reuters) - Two major airlines said they will submit complaints to the European Commission, claiming air traffic control (ATC) strikes are reaching crisis point and undermining the principle of allowing people and goods to move freely across Europe.

British Airways owner, IAG, and budget airline, Ryanair, will take their case to Brussels, with IAG boss Willie Walsh claiming the strikes are “destroying European air traffic and having a huge impact on consumers.”

Earlier this month, Walsh warned that air traffic control strikes were more of a threat to European airlines in 2018 than a rise in fuel prices.

Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive, said: “Europe’s ATC providers are approaching the point of meltdown with hundreds of flights being cancelled daily either because of ATC strikes or because Europe’s ATC don’t have enough staff.”

ATC strikes in France have increased 300 percent since last year. The economic impact of such strikes in the EU from 2010-17 was 13.4 billion euros, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Reporting by Ben Sladden; editing by Stephen Addison

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