European Air Traffic Controller Strike Disrupts Air Travel

airplaneEuropean air traffic controllers went on strike January 29 to 30, causing cancelled, delayed and rerouted flights throughout Europe, Bloomberg News reports. Walkouts began January 29 in Italy, Portugal, France, Slovenia, Malta and Cyprus, and further walkouts followed January 30 in Hungary, Austria, Greece, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. Air traffic controllers in Germany and Britain did not participate. 

Lufthansa has canceled 42 flights for January 29, while Ryanair has cancelled over 80, Bloomberg reports. The Daily Telegraph reports that EasyJet has cancelled some flights to Paris and rescheduled some flights to Lisbon and Milan. British Airways has cancelled flights from London Heathrow to Pisa and Milan. 

The strike is a protest against the European Union's Single European Sky initiative, which is aimed at centralizing airspace in Europe to reduce congestion, Deutsche Welle reports. "[The initiative] will lead unequivocally to the worsening of labor and social conditions in the air traffic management industry, consequently putting the entire safety chain and service quality at risk," the ATCEUC trade association, which called the strike, told Deutsche Welle. 

This strike follows one that had been previously scheduled for October 10, 2013. That strike, which was also a protest against the Single European Sky legislation, was called off after a meeting between the ATCEUC and EU officials resulted in a promise that the controversial SES2+ policy proposals would be "seriously amended."

RELATED: European Air Traffic Control Strike Canceled

A vote by the European Parliament is scheduled for the Single European Sky legislation on January 30, Deutsche Welle reports. 

Keep visiting for further updates on this developing story.