Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Strikes May Impact Urgent Freight Movement Over Holiday Period

Stoppages Planned in Europe and Beyond
Shipping News Feature

EUROPE – TUNISIA – It seems the wave of industrial action which has swept across the continent is set to continue with some protests proposed to cause maximum disruption to holiday travel. The cessation of public services and stoppages at airports is bound to have a knock on effect of urgent freight traffic even when cargo services are not directly affected.

A general strike is planned in Belgium for Thursday 22nd December. The 24 hour strike will affect public transport and the rail system will stop operating from 10pm local time on Wednesday 21st December whilst other public services such as the metro will shut down on Thursday. Eurostar will be unable to operate services to and from Brussels during this period. Current travel advice for Belgium will be viewable HERE.

In Spain the union representing pilots at Iberia Airlines has called for strikes on 29th December. Passengers are advised to check with the airline if they are due to travel on those days. The latest information on the strikes and affected flights is available on the Iberia website. You can also follow them on Twitter with more information available HERE.

Strike action by airport security staff is affecting flights to/from France. Check with your airline or travel company and passengers should allow plenty of time to get through security whilst shipments may be held up. Regular updates are being posted on the Twitter channel of the two main Paris airports and Lyon airport’s facebook page and HERE.

TAP Air Portugal are in more trouble following the raids by EU anti trust officials on their offices along with those of Brussels Airlines. Now TAP pilots have threatened to go on strike between 3rd and 6th January 2012 with obvious ramifications for air cargo shipments. If the strike goes ahead, it may affect passenger travel plans and cause delays to consignments. Be prepared for delays and keep in touch with the airline or travel company for advice on the options available to you. Passengers can check HERE.

In Tunisia a 24-hour strike at Enfida Airport is planned for 21st December. Passengers should contact their airline before travelling. Reports suggest the dispute will involve Ground Agents and Airport Staff at Enfida Airport which may affect freight to some degree particularly as there are plans to blockade all roads into and out of the airport to cause maximum disruption. Travellers seek advice HERE.