Labor Actions OverseasAre Off to a Flying Start


A rash of job actions is hitting carriers across Asia, Europe and the Americas, tripping up travelers during the busiest flying season of the year.

Although labor disputes among U.S. airlines have been fairly well publicized here, international disputes are less well known. So it's wise to check for updates with your travel agent or the airline.

Among recent labor actions:

* Asia: In Hong Kong, a dispute with pilots led Cathay Pacific Airways to cancel nearly one-fifth of its flights July 10. Two of Japan's three major airlines were recently disrupted by pilots' actions.

* Europe: Alitalia scrapped three-quarters of its flights July 6 when air traffic controllers, pilots and flight attendants walked off. Pilots staged two 24-hour strikes in May that grounded hundreds of Lufthansa flights. Other pilot job actions have targeted Spain's Iberia and LOT Polish Airlines.

* South America: Airline workers in Argentina have repeatedly held demonstrations against the nation's flagship carrier, which is buckling under massive debt.

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