All the European strikes affecting travel in January, from airports to rail

All the European strikes affecting travel in January, from airports to rail

This month brings industrial action that will disrupt air travel in Italy and Spain and journeys for passengers on the London Underground. Here’s where and when the strikes are happening.

UK, London Underground, 7 – 12 January

Transport for London has warned of “severe disruption is expected, with little to no service expected to run” on the Tube network during a strike by London Underground workers from the evening of Sunday 7 January to the morning of Friday 12 January.

On Sunday, Tube services will close earlier than normal and customers are advised to complete journeys by 5.30pm. Underground services are expected to start running again later on Friday, with a normal service resuming by midday.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said Underground workers were taking rolling strike action after voting by more than 90 per cent against a below-inflation pay offer.

TfL workers on bus, DLR, London Overground and Elizabeth Line services are not on strike. However, these services could be disrupted and busier and passengers could be affected by closures at stations that also serve the Underground.

Tube strikes affect travellers heading to the airports, as well as day-to-day journeys in the capital. The Piccadilly line serves Heathrow, while other lines stop at Victoria, where passengers pick up the Gatwick Express, and Paddington, where travellers can catch the Heathrow Express or the Elizabeth Line.

Spain, Iberia ground staff, 5 – 8 January

Ground staff working for the Spanish airline Iberia are on strike from Friday to Monday in a dispute over working conditions and rights.

The walkout will impact 29 airports, including Madrid-Barajas, Barcelona-El Prat, Palma de Mallorca, Seville and Valencia.

Over 400 flights on Iberia, Iberia Express and Air Nostrum have been cancelled. Alternative flights or refunds have been offered to affected passengers.

This industrial action could impact flights run by other airlines in the IAG parent company, including British Airways.

Spain, Alicante-Elche airport security staff, to 14 January

Employees of private security company Ilunion Seguridad have been taking part in a series of strikes in a dispute over working conditions and pay. The latest bout of action at Alicante-Elche is running unitl Sunday 14 January. It affects security controls and baggage handling for two hours each day, from 8.45am-9.45am and 6pm-7pm.

Italy, airports, 8 January

Milano, Italy - 8 august 2023: Passengers Inside the Milan Malpensa Airport Facility in Italy.
Milan Malpensa will be affected by walkouts (Photo: Getty)

Baggage handlers at Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa airports are expected to strike for 24 hours on Monday. Linate and Malpensa have asked passengers to check the situation before travelling and Italy’s flag carrier Ita Airways cancelled 20 domestic flights that were scheduled for 8 January.

Security staff at airports including Rome Fiumicino, Venice Marco Polo and Amerigo Vespucci in Florence are due to strike on the same day, which could cause delays across Italy’s whole network. Unions have called industrial action to demand better pay and working conditions.

Italy, nationwide public transport, 24 January

Public transport staff around Italy are due to take part in a 24-hour strike on Wednesday 24 January. The walkout is likely to affect bus, metro and tram services, but should not impact inter-regional and long-distance trains.

Italy, air traffic controllers: 24 January

Industrial action by staff of national air traffic control company Enav is planned for between 1pm and 5pm on 24 January. Passengers travelling to and from Italy could experience flight delays or cancellations.

Germany, rail, TBC

An agreement between the GDL train drivers’ union and Deutsche Bahn prevented strikes over Christmas and New Year, but the truce ends on 8 January. Walkouts could be set to resume next week.

In December, union members voted in favour of unlimited strikes, which would come with no stated end date. The union wants improved pay and working conditions. Deutsche Bahn is taking GDL to court, claiming the union is unable to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), and therefore is “no longer allowed to strike”