TRAVELLERS flying into and out of the UK were facing disruption today as workers across Europe prepared to stage a series of strikes against rising unemployment and austerity measures, although Scottish airports were largely unaffected.
Airports said a number of flights to destinations across the continent had been cancelled because of the walk-out, which is expected to involve around 40 groups from 23 countries.
No disruption to direct flights to the affected countries was reported at Edinburgh or Glasgow airports, while Aberdeen has no such flights at this time of year.
Heathrow airport, which many Scottish passengers use to connect with European flights, cancelled 39 flights today, nearly all to Spain and Portugal.
They included ten British Airways services to Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon.
Strikes in Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy have been planned as part of The Day of Action and Solidarity across the EU.
Protests are also expected in Belgium, Germany, France the UK and some eastern EU states.
The action, which was urged by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), has lead to five departures and five arrivals being axed at Gatwick airport throughout today.
A spokesman for the airport said services between the UK and Lisbon, Porto and Madrid were affected.
Heathrow Airport said 12 flights have been cancelled as a result of the austerity strikes.
“British Airways flights travelling both to and from the continent are affected,” a spokesman added.
“Passengers due to travel today are advised to contact their airlines for the information.”
The ETUC said in a statement: “The ETUC strongly opposes the austerity measures which are plunging Europe into economic stagnation, recession, and dismantling the European social model.
“These measures, far from restoring confidence, are only aggravating imbalances and creating injustices.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 24 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 5 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North east