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S&Ds: The EU Commission must take immediate and concrete actions to ensure aviation workers’ and passengers’ rights


08 Jul 2022



The current situation with air transport and the cancellation of several flights and disruptions in our airports across Europe is unacceptable and requires an immediate and firm action from the EU Commission. Massive support was granted to the sector during the pandemic, now we expect the same concrete help will be ensured to improve workers’ labour conditions and respect travellers’ rights. That is why the S&D Group has requested the EU Commission to intervene at the meeting of the committee on transport and tourism next week to present information and concrete measures to show how we will overcome the ongoing crises, but also to explain how it will ensure adequate social protection and workers’ rights. It’s time to show real solidarity and bold actions towards aviation workers, and all passengers too.

S&D coordinator in the transport and tourism committee, Petar Vitanov, said

“As socialists, we have repeatedly raised the issue of workers’ rights in the aviation sector and the lack of sufficient measures. Unfortunately, the Commission ignored the problems of atypical employment and the working conditions in the sector even before the pandemic.

“The Covid-19 pandemic crisis caused the airlines to layoff a significant number of their staff due to the reduced frequency of flights. The Commission then allowed countries to place state aid on airlines as a compensatory measure. EU funds were established to help companies overcome the crisis, but the Commission didn’t urge member states to allocate resources to airlines in order to manage the situation in a socially responsible manner.

“As we envisaged, the impact of the crisis has long-lasting effects, and today, we are witnessing thousands of cancelled or delayed flights and chaos at European airports. The tourist season across Europe is also under threat.”

S&D vice-president responsible for transport, Alex Saliba, added:

“The current shortage of pilots, skyrocketing ticket pricing, and widespread flight cancellations show that Europe is heading towards one of its worst travel slumps on record. During the pandemic, we already had thousands of complaints against major airlines for breaching travellers’ rights. It is unacceptable that two years later, the industry is still unable to properly prepare for the travel rebound and provide passengers with viable alternatives. 

“While the Commission has broadly supported the sector, with massive subsidies supporting the airline industry to help it through the pandemic, little has been done to protect workers and travellers, who will ultimately pay the final price. The Commission must step up and protect passengers and aviation workers in this sector and ensure that the rest of the travels during the summer season continue unobstructed.”




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