Warsaw faces severe cuts in air traffic from May says EU agency
If no agreement is reached between striking air traffic controllers and Polish civil aviation authorities, Warsaw's two airports may soon see two-thirds of their regular flights cancelled, the Eurocontrol aviation safety agency has said.
Eurocontrol said on Friday that, from May 1, Warsaw will have enough controllers to handle only a 7.5 hour window of flights per day, between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., and the total daily number of flights may be cut to 170 from over 510 a day.
Of about 700 flights over Polish airspace every day, 300 will have to be re-routed due to a lack of controllers, the organisation also said.
Earlier on Friday, Poland's Civil Aviation Authority (PAZP) said Eurocontrol had not yet decided on cancelling flights to and from Poland, and all flights should be unaffected after May 1.
The authority added that mild disturbances in flight schedules may be felt at Warsaw's Chopin and Modlin airports.
Negotiations between an air traffic controllers union and PAZP have been continuing since early April. The controllers are demanding pay rises and changes to safety and work regulations.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, commenting on the dispute, told a press conference on Friday afternoon that the Polish government was prepared for a "far-reaching compromise" to end the standoff between air traffic controllers and PAZP.
"We stand with arms wide open and kindly ask all the controllers not to bring about a crisis, not to shut down the Polish sky, because all Poles will feel the loss... I will certainly do my best to support such a compromise," he said.
Morawiecki also said that he and Infrastructure Minister Andrzej Adamczyk were looking for a solution to the situation.
"Minister (Adamczyk - PAP) is very open to compromise... is waiting for the demands... proposals from the trade unions.... and I believe that the minister has a very good, very constructive offer for everyone who simply wants to work," he said.