Easyjet and Ryanair strikes cancel 28 active flights

Passengers waiting after cancellations at Barcelona’s El Prat airport. / Efe

This Friday coincided the stoppages of the cabin crew of the two airlines, who are asking to improve their salary conditions

Edurne Martinez

The situation at airports across Europe will be very complicated this summer. In addition to the lack of staff after the layoffs of the pandemic, there is very high demand in the face of a summer with a tourist record and strikes. In Spain, unlike the rest of Europe, the ERTEs made it possible to reactivate the gauges as soon as demand started to grow, but the cabin crew stoppages (TCP) of Ryanair and Easyjet since the end of June causes traffic jams at some airports.

This Friday, in full operation since mid-July, the TCP strikes of the two airlines coincide. Currently, there are 28 flight cancellations at a Spanish airport and 123 delays. On the Ryanair side, 22 cancellations and 90 delays, while the canceled Easyjet flights are 6 in number and accumulate 33 delays, according to USO sources.

Through these strikes, Ryanair crew members are demanding that the airline return to the negotiating table to sign the first collective agreement and obtain “the same labor rights as the rest of Spanish workers”. However, from the USO, the union calling for the strike, they denounce the dismissal of seven TCPs since the beginning of the demonstrations for “not having obeyed the illegal orders of the airline”. The company, for its part, responds that these crew members “ignored” the legal obligation to operate the concerted flights in minimum service. The next strike days will be July 18, 19, 20, 21, 26, 26, 27 and 28.

On the Easyjet side, the following sessions are scheduled for July 16, 17, 29, 30 and 31, coinciding with the busiest periods for air traffic due to this month’s departure and arrival operations. The workers denounce the blocking of the negotiation of the collective agreement II, where the union demands an increase of around 40% of the basic salary, currently at 950 euros, more than 800 below that of the TCP of France and Germany . Miguel Galán, general coordinator of USO-Easyjet, assured the media that the company “categorically refuses” dialogue for the moment. “You cannot advance with the company in any way,” explained Galán, who confirmed that they would continue with the strike days.

«ERTE has allowed that in Spain there is no shortage of staff at airports as in other countries»

The airline assured customers it would do “everything possible” to minimize disruption. But for now he is sticking to his decision not to raise the floor for cabin crew in 2022, although he claims to have proposed a 13% salary increase from January 1, 2023 which was “rejected” by the union.

The Director General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission, Henrik Hololei, acknowledged a few days ago that “there is no easy or quick solution” to airport congestion and that a summer ” very complicated” awaits us all over Europe. For his part, the Minister of Transport,
Raquel Sánchez, pointed out in an interview with this newspaper that the summer in Spain will be “very positive” and that the problems that occur in other countries will not affect Spanish airports so much because “Aena acts in a very solvent way” and ERTE has managed to maintain staff in his post-pandemic job.

Europe cancels 16,000 flights in August

These problems of strikes and understaffing that clog airports have meant that European airlines have already canceled 15,800 flights for the month of August, or 2% of the total program and 60% of operations worldwide, according to a report. of Cirium.

The airline that offered the most cancellations was Turkish Airlines, with 4,408 fewer flights. It is followed by British Airways (3,600 cancellations), Easyjet (2,045), Lufthansa (1,888) and Wizz Air (1,256).

These cancellations are mainly due to the lack of staff due to the reductions in staff linked to the pandemic, but there are also protests similar to those in Spain. Indeed, the strikes initiated by the unions of pilots of SAS – an airline established in Sweden, Denmark and Norway – which began on July 4, lead to the cancellation of 2,550 flights which affected more than 270,000 passengers. , in addition to a cumulative cost between 94 and 122 million euros.

Leave a Comment