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Dublin: -1°C Saturday 17 April 2021

German air traffic control strike set for tomorrow

Air travel disruptions ahead as union plans for six-hour strike over controllers’ pay and employment conditions in Germany.

Image: Frank Augstein/AP/Press Association Images

Updated at 14:15

A PLANNED STRIKE cancelled by German air traffic controllers last week has been rescheduled for early tomorrow morning.

The strike, which could affect thousands of air passengers due to travel through German airspace tomorrow, centres on a dispute between the controllers and the company which operates the country’s national air traffic control service, DFS, over pay and conditions.

Controllers had threatened to walk off the job last week, but DFS secured an injunction against the strike beforehand.

The controllers’ union lodged an appeal, but a spokesperson for the controllers said the strike was cancelled before it kicked off on Thursday because the result of that appeal would come too late. They also said that the strike would have caused too much disruption.

Deutshe Welle reports that the controllers’ union GDF says that the strike will begin at 6am (Central European Time, or 5am in Ireland) and last for six hours. Germany’s transport minister has criticised plans to strike during the holiday period, adding that he believes controllers are well paid for their work.

Flight Global reports that the GDF union says the industrial action is not only focused on the pay and conditions of air traffic controllers, but aims to push for better pay for all DFS workers.

The Dublin Airport Authority told TheJournal.ie that if the strike goes ahead tomorrow morning, 15 flights between Dublin and Germany would be affected during the strike period and another 11 would be affected throughout the day.

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In a statement, Ryanair called on the EU Commission and the German government to intervene and prevent the strike. The airline says it may have to cancel up to 70 of its scheduled flights to and from Germany if the industrial action goes ahead in the morning.

Ryanair also said it wants the right to strike to be stripped from people working in certain airport services in order to prevent further travel disruptions.

Anyone due to fly tomorrow is advised to check with their airline before leaving for the airport in case of any disruptions.

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