Strikes at three airlines threaten flights in Spain during holidays

by Lorraine Williamson
airline holiday strikes
nederlandse orthopeed

MADRID – Passengers across Spain planning to travel in the coming holiday period should be prepared for flight cancellations and delays. Employees of three airlines have announced strike days. 

These three companies mainly offer domestic routes, but other connections may also be affected. Like workers in other industries, pilots and cabin crew primarily demand compensation for inflation. This requirement is largely motivated by the fact that flight traffic is operating normally again after the Corona crisis and the companies are making a profit again. 

Strike at Vueling 

The strike by the Spanish airline Vueling is currently the most worrying. The low-cost airline has cancelled flights in advance for which the legally required minimum crew cannot be guaranteed. Before the Christmas weekend, that is around 10% percent of all flights. Moreover, since November the company has already cancelled 1,424 flights. The Vueling cabin crew want to go on strike for the following days: 

  • December 23 to 26 
  • December 30 to January 2 
  • January 5 and 6 
  • January 8 and 9 

Furthermore, the chance of the strike being called off seems nil. The company does not want to act as long as the union threatens strikes. 

Strikes at Air Nostrum 

At the Iberia subsidiary Air Nostrum, the pilots want to go on strike. However, only 4% of passengers in Spain fly with this airline. Strikes are scheduled on the following days: 

ASSSA - health insurance in Spain
  • December 22 and 23 
  • December 26 and 27 
  • December 29 and 30 
  • January 2 and 3 

Strikes at Ryanair 

Ryanair cabin crew have been on strike for months. The effects on all flights in practice remains limited due to the strict requirements that the authorities set for the minimum service. International flights, however, have not been affected so far. 

Since August 8, the company’s cabin crew has declared strikes that will last until January 7. Althought the company guarantees 77% of minimum services on Christmas Day, the number of employees working in the next few days varies depending on the destination. In this link (in Spanish), you can check the minimum service. 

Ryanair employees are demanding an improvement in general working conditions. Below the end of the clock and the equalisation with the Spanish minimum wage, direct contracts with Ryanair (and not with intermediary agencies) or the fixed schedule of five working days and three days of rest. 

A strike with far-reaching effects on air traffic around Christmas by the staff of the Spanish airport manager Aena was recently called off after an agreement was reached to restore productivity payments for staff. 

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