Holidaymakers leaving European airports for their summer vacation this year face uncertainty as strikes look set to cause disruptions to the schedule across most major hubs.
In Belgium, planned actions by Ryanair and Brussels Airlines are already causing concern, while possible strikes by staff at Air France, KLM and EasyJet as well as security companies and baggage handlers attached to trade unions, could also cause chaos.
Wouter Dewulf, Professor of Economics and Air Transport Affairs at the University of Antwerp and Academic Director of C-MAT Belgium (Centre for Maritime and Air Transport) warned that this summer may be a complicated one for travellers.
"Until a week ago, I was confident that it would be going well, especially in Belgium, but naturally with all the announcements of strikes, I am a little worried," he told reporters.
- 'A hill, not a mountain': Summer Covid-19 wave on its way
- The favourite destinations of Belgian holidaymakers
- Ryanair cabin crew in Belgium to strike 24, 25, and 26 June
Dewulf explained that the aviation sector is made up of many actors that all have important, intrinsically linked roles to play and when one takes action, it inevitably leads to delays or even cancellations across the board.
Wouter Dewulf believes the lack of staff at airports, a consequence of the temporary unemployment measures brought in during the Covid-19 pandemic, and a rise in passengers that has been growing sharply since the Easter holidays, is also putting a strain on the sector