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    EC urged to prevent air travel chaos


    by ODN


    The European Commission has been urged to step in to prevent air traffic chaos this Easter amid threats of a series of strikes by Spanish airport staff.

    A dispute involving AENA, the state-owned firm which runs Spain's key airports, could mean a total of 22 days of stoppages starting at Easter and spreading into summer.

    Although AENA says baggage handlers and air traffic controllers will not be affected, Ryanair has demanded EU action to prevent a repeat of the air travel industry misery which blighted flights across Europe last year.

    Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary, speaking in Madrid, said: "Europe's airlines and passengers suffered at the hands of air traffic control providers throughout 2010. Now, ahead of yet another Spanish strike, Ryanair is calling on the EU to take action to prevent further strike action."

    The planned stoppages are a protest against Spanish government plans to sell off parts of the company.

    Strike organisers intend beginning action on April 20, disrupting Easter weekend holiday flights. They have earmarked dates in May, June, July and August for more industrial action, involving airport runway staff.