UPDATE: This strike has now been postponed - click here for details
Flights around Europe are set to face major disruption due to a one-day strike by air traffic controllers.
The Air Traffic Controllers European Unions Coordination (ATCEUC) is calling on its 14,000 members across Europe to join a one-day walkout next Thursday (October 10).
While this move will not affect UK-based air traffic controllers, their counterparts in France, Germany, Spain and Portugal are expected to take strike action. Controllers in France have also threatened to extend their walkout.
ATCEUC said in a statement: "If you have a flight scheduled for October 10, there is a high likelihood of it being delayed. Strong delays and some cancellations are expected all over Europe but particularly in those countries where the industrial actions will take place such as Germany, France, Spain and Portugal.
"The airspace over Luxemburg, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France, whose air traffic control service is provided by Eurocontrol, will also be strongly affected.
"Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Switzerland will also join this action day."
Airlines have not yet revealed how their flights are likely to be affected by next week’s industrial action.
Air traffic controllers are concerned about the impact of European Union plans to create a streamlined pan-European air traffic system known as Single European Sky, which unions say could cost jobs – although this has been denied by the authorities.
European air traffic organisation Eurocontrol said it was “assessing the impact of industrial action by ATC unions”.
French ATC workers are due to go out on strike between 06.00 and 20.00 local time on October 10, while workers in Spain and Portugal are scheduled to take action for two separate two-hour periods on the same day.
The UK's air traffic controller NATS said that its staff would be working normally on October 10.
Chief executive Richard Deakin said: “Despite the threats of industrial action in Europe, NATS controllers will be working as usual. Should the strikes go ahead we will work closely, as we always do, with Eurocontrol and other European air navigation services to help keep people moving wherever possible.
“We will also work closely with our airline and airport customers to help them manage their own operations if any changes are necessary.
“Passengers who think they may be affected by the action should check with their airlines for the latest information.”
For more details about the planned strike action, click here