Air traffic controllers in Hungary will strike from 2 pm on Sunday, air traffic control company HungaroControl announced on Thursday.
All commercial aircraft will be grounded or diverted from Hungarian airspace during the strike, however it will not affect flights of rescue or state aircraft. “Airlines flying over Hungary will have to fly around the country,” HungaroControl spokeswoman Mónika Hackl said.
The strike will cost HungaroControl Ft 55 million in lost revenue, Hackl said. She added that CONTROL, the union organizing the strike, counts among its members almost all of Hungary's air traffic controllers. CONTROL is demanding controllers' salaries more than double and a system guaranteeing further salary increases be set up. In a statement, CONTROL said it had taken and would continue to take all measures to avoid the strike. Negotiations will continue in the meantime.
According to statistics compiled by the state labor authority, air traffic controllers earned a monthly Ft 762,221 in 2005, including benefits and bonuses, compared to the national average of Ft 158,315 in the same year.