Updated: All the travel strikes still set to go ahead across Europe in December and January

An employee walks along an empty platform at Lyon Part-Dieu railway station.
An employee walks along an empty platform at Lyon Part-Dieu railway station. Copyright OLIVIER CHASSIGNOLE / AFP
By Euronews
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Industrial action during the busy festive season could cause problems for passengers heading home or away for New Year.


Travel is set to be heavily impacted by industrial action during the busy festive period this year.

Rail and aviation unions are threatening strikes throughout December and January across Europe. It's likely to cause disruption as people attempt to get home for the holidays.

So where are strikes taking place in Europe this Christmas and New Year?

International rail services: Eurostar strikes over Christmas and New Year

Eurostar strikes on 16 and 18 December were called off to give union members time to vote on a new pay offer.

More than 100 Eurostar security staff still went on strike on 22 and 23 December in a dispute over wages, causing delays and cancellations.

Eurostar and Mitie, the company that employs the security staff, will update passengers with any further impact to services.

Tolga Akmen / AFP
Passengers board a Eurostar train at St Pancras International station in London.Tolga Akmen / AFP

What strikes are happening in France this Christmas and New Year?

Train conductors and ticket collectors in France have called off strike action between 30 December-2 January thanks to an agreement reached between SNCF and the labor unions. An initial strike went ahead from 23-26 December. 

Workers were seeking higher salaries and for bonuses to be taken into account in pension calculations.

AP Photo/Christophe Ena
Com.muters stand in a train in Ville d'Avray, west of ParisAP Photo/Christophe Ena

Sud-Rail union members also went on strike from 15-19 December after initial pay negotiations with SNCF failed. 

Cabin crew for Air France are currently set to strike until 2 January as negotiations over pay continue.

What strikes are happening in Italy this Christmas and New Year?

Workers across Italy went on strike from 12-16 December to protest the Meloni government's draft budget.

It affected different regions of the country and sectors on different days. 

What strikes are happening in Portugal this Christmas and New Year?

After strikes by TAP Portugal cabin crew took place on 8-9 December, leading to 360 cancelled flights, more are planned over the Christmas and New Year period. 

Exact dates have not yet been announced but the National Union of Civil Aviation Personnel agreed to schedule a minimum of five days of action before 31 January. 

What strikes are happening in Spain this Christmas?

USO and SITCPLA union members from Ryanair cabin crew based in Spain have been on strike for five months.

The action started on 8 August and will run until 7 January, from Monday to Thursday every week. It’s likely to affect journeys from airports including Alicante, Barcelona, Madrid and Malaga.

But Ryanair has said it doesn’t expect that the strike will cause that much disruption for passengers.

Vueling cabin crew who are members of the Stavla union are also taking part in prolonged walkouts. Strikes are taking place on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and public holidays from 1 November to 31 December. 


The airline says that the industrial action will cause minimal disruption for passengers. 

AP Photo/Paul White
Atocha train station in Madrid, Spain.AP Photo/Paul White

Spain's leading trade union CCOO also called for 10,000 workers at airport operator Aena to strike over Christmas. However, this has now been called off as a deal has been reached over a productivity bonus, which staff didn't receive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walkouts were originally planned for 22, 23, 30 and 31 December and 6 and 8 January.

Pilots at Spanish regional airline Air Nostrum have been striking over the festive period. They are calling for better working conditions and wage increases. 

Following strikes on 23, 26 and 27 December, further walkouts are planned on 29 and 30 December as well as 2 and 3 January when pilots will walk out for 24 hours. 


Spanish law, however, forces workers to provide minimum services if their strike action causes serious disruption to the public and freedom of movement. 

What strikes are happening in the UK this Christmas?

Rail strikes are taking place in the UK throughout December and into January. The Rail, Maritime and Transport workers union (RMT) announced that its 40,000 members will walk out for eight days during the festive season.

RMT strikes went ahead on 16-17 and 24-27 December, with further strikes planned for 3-4 and 6-7 January. Nearly every train operator will be impacted as RMT members at National Rail and 14 train companies go on strike. It has further been announced that ASLEF train driver union members will strike on Thursday 5 January.

Just one in five trains is expected to run on strike days and on the days either side - known as ‘shoulder days’ - services will run at around 60 per cent of normal.

It's likely that timetables will be adjusted to cope with the walkout so make sure to check if your train is still running before you travel.

Steve Taylor / SOPA Images/Sipa via Reuters Connect
A passenger seen at an empty Charing Cross railway station in London.Steve Taylor / SOPA Images/Sipa via Reuters Connect

Hundreds of baggage handlers at Heathrow Airport planned to walk out on 16 and 29 December. However, strikes were called off after union members voted to accept an improved pay deal. According to Unite the Union, they will receive an increase of 9.5 per cent backdated to May 2022 and a further one per cent from January 2023.

Staff from 10 airlines including Qantas, Aer Lingus, Lufthansa and TAP Portugal across Terminals 2, 3 and 4 were due to take part in the strike. Neither British Airways - which operates half of all Heathrow flights - or Virgin Atlantic would have been affected. 

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union, which represents Border Force staff, will go ahead with plans to strike over Christmas and New Year. 

Eight days of industrial action began on 23-26 December and will continue from 28-31 December. Passport checks at Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff and Birmingham airports as well as Newhaven port will be affected.

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