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Airport chaos in Europe: Airlines cancel 15,000 flights in August

Airlines have cancelled a further 15,000 flights in Europe this August as they continue to struggle with staff shortages and strikes, new data shows.

Airport chaos in Europe: Airlines cancel 15,000 flights in August
Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP

The latest data from the global flight airline analysis firm Citrium shows that airlines have cancelled 25,378 flights from their August schedules, of which 15,788 are in Europe.

Airlines across Europe have been struggling with staff shortages, with passengers reporting chaotic scenes and long queues at airports.

Many other airlines and airports have been hit by strikes from staff demanding higher wages to help them deal with the cost of living, compounding the misery for airline passengers.

According to Cirium, Turkish Airlines is the company responsible for the largest number of cancellations in Europe with 4,408 cancelled flights, then comes British Airways with 3,600 cancellations, easyJet with 2,045, Lufthansa with 1,888 and Wizz Air with 1,256.

The 15,000 cancelled flights, however, represent just two percent of the August 2022 flight schedule for Europe.

If you are flying from an EU country, or with an EU-based airline, you must be offered a choice of either a refund or an exchange if your flight is cancelled.

READ ALSO Airport chaos in Europe: What are your rights if your flight is cancelled or delayed?

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SAS

SAS strike affected 380,000 passengers in July

More than 3,700 flights where cancelled and 380,000 passengers where affected by the 15-day strike which hit Scandinavia's SAS airline last month, the company has revealed.

SAS strike affected 380,000 passengers in July

“We sincerely apologize to our customers who were affected by the July strike,” Anko van der Werff, the company’s chief executive, said in a press release. “We are happy operations returned to normality again allowing us to start regaining our customers’ trust.”

According to the release, 1.3 million passengers travelled with the airline in July, which was still a 23 percent increase on the same month last year, when Covid-19 restrictions were still reducing tourism levels.

“In comparison with last month, the total number of passengers decreased with 32 percent and capacity was decreased by 23 percent, which was a result from the 15-day pilot strike,” the release read. 

Pilot unions in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, went on strike for 15 days last month over pay, conditions, and the company’s refusal to rehire pilots laid off during the Covid-19 pandemic on the same terms as before. 

The strike, which cost the airline between €9m and €12m a day, was ended on July 19th, after which it took several days to get flights back to normal

Van der Werff said company said it would now continue putting in place its restructuring plan, SAS FORWARD, and push ahead with restructuring in the US, where the company has filed for Chapter 11. 

He said these would both “accelerate the transformation process that will lead to a financially stable airline, that will be able to deliver the service our customers are expecting”. 

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