In reviewing a few announcements from a variety of sources including EuroControl, it looks as though ATC strikes will be quite popular in Europe during July.
Instead of putting all of them into one or 2 paragraphs, it is easier just to list them since there are several (times are in local time zones):
July 5: 11:00a to 3:00p
July 23: 10:00a to 6:00p
June 28: General strikes will have widespread outages.
Portugal (The following dates will have random 2 hour strikes held each day):
Keep in mind that these dates can come and go as negotiations go on between labor and management continue.
In the coming weeks and months, several airports throughout Europe will witness a relatively rare event when Austrian ‘Heavies’ will replace regional jets.
If you live in, or travel to Dubrovnik, Frankfurt, Paris, Larnaca, Hamburg, or Zurich expect to see OS’ 767s and 777s operate on regularly scheduled flights. In addition to these Euro cities, Cairo will see Austrian’s 767 as well.
It appears that Austrian has agreed to use their long haul fleet to allow SWISS pilots to gain certifications as SWISS begins to receive their 777 aircraft from Boeing. Not to worry, the LX pilots will be flying with OS pilots who are already certified for the aircraft types. The process will take place between April and October with numerous flights around Europe.
Nothing official has been spoken by either airline but according to a trustworthy source, FlyerTalk’s Oliver2002, this is nothing new for Austrian and SWISS to work together like this to help pilots get their hours and certifications.
The list of flights that will have a 767 or 777 assigned to it is a fairly lengthy and complicated one, so instead of spending hours deciphering all the variables here is a link to AirlineRoute.com’s webpage that provides a summary of the affected flights. Their presentation is quite complex, so if you have any specific questions regarding dates and flights, please leave a comment here and I’ll clear it up for you. I’ve attached a screen shot of their page for your convenience:
Austrian’s Euro timetable for 767 and 777 operations. Courtesy of AirlineRoute.net
So when you show up to your flight expecting some kind of ATR or ERJ, don’t be shocked when you see a 250-300 seat ‘Jumbo’ waiting to take you on your 45 minute flight from Vienna to Zurich.
In what is not all that unexpected, there is momentum growing among EU nations that may result in a total shut down of ‘Schengen’ policy throughout Europe. For those of you unfamiliar with ‘Schengen’ policy, it is the set of rules that allows anyone to travel within the EU without having to pass through immigration/passport control in each country that is visited. It’s one of the very best features that has been put in place since the first days of the European Union.
However, with what appears to be a completely out of control migrant crisis brewing in Europe, many member states already have or are planning to suspend ‘Schengen’ which would require everyone to pass through customs and passport control when travel between different countries in Europe. The freedom to move about Europe would be gone. A handful of countries, including Belgium as well as Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Sweden and Norway have already suspended elements of Schengen.
On Thursday, the EU’s Commissioner for Migration, Citizenship, and Home Affairs, Dimitris Avramopoulos suggested that Schengen rules will most likely be suspended in the next 10 days if a bloc-wide agreement is not reached. Specfiically he was quoted as saying ‘In the next 10 days, we need tangible and clear results on the ground. Otherwise there is a risk that the whole system will completely break down’.
Being a politician, there is no doubt that there is a bit of sensationalism in his comment. His March 7 deadline is simply the date on which EU leaders are holding an emergency summit to address the Migrant catastrophe taking place in several European nations. His comments suggested that if a solution is not reached during this meeting, that Schengen rules suspension may spread to all 28 EU Members shortly thereafter.
What does this mean to you?
If you are entering Europe from abroad, you’ll need your passport as usual if you expect to be allowed ‘in’. The big hassle will be that you’ll need to enter each country ‘formally’ and not just cross the border without any stop to check your credentials. This may lead to new delays when flying or driving between European countries. So if you see that Schengen has broken down, plan accordingly and give yourself more time when traveling within Europe. We’ve been spoiled for over the last 25 years. Some of you reading this were not even alive the last time you needed to ‘check in’ to each country separately when visiting Europe. You Millennials have a whole new experience waiting for you!
You’ll fill up your passport faster since you’ll have all sorts of new entry and exit stamps……..
I’m not talking credit cards here…..
In a game of ‘Tit For Tat’, the EU is threatening to impose VISA requirements for Americans who wish to visit Europe. The specifics of the threat have not been spelled out, but preparations may be taking place.
This threat comes on the heels of a recent Bill adopted by the House Of Representatives that would impose visa requirements on EU citizens that since March 2011 had visited Sudan, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. The logic behind this potential legislation is to scrutinize the flow of persons into the US that may have recently visited countries that are potentially complicit in state sponsored terrorism. The EU is obviously opposed to this measure, thus the threat to return the favor.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize the damaging implications something like this would have on tourism and business.
The vast majority of EU nations (23 of 28) currently enjoy the visa waiver program with the US. I’m fairly certain that a knee-jerk reaction such as this will come with more unintended consequences than benefits. Tourism and Businesses will obviously suffer the greatest consequences, but I guess thats not important……
When will the inmates stop running the asylum?
Lufthansa has loaded an additional 1 million tickets in deep-discount fare classes for travel within Europe during late summer / early fall. The tickets will be available at these discounted rates until July 12, 2015.
Attractive rates include Munich – Rome for only €99, Frankfurt – Nice for €129, and many other European destinations from LH’s hubs in Germany.
The fares are available for departures between August 1 and October 31, 2015 and return travel must take place between August 2, 2015 and January 31, 2016.
A 1 night stay is required for destinations within Germany. A 3 day (weekday) stay is required for European destinations OR a Friday night OR a Saturday night stay. In other words, a weekend trip within Europe only requires one night.
The fares are non-refundable and are subject to a €65 rebooking fee.