Easyjet and Ryanair strikes cancel more than 25 active flights

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

This Friday coincides with 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. At present, there are already 28 flight cancellations at a Spanish airport and 123 delays. On the side of Ryanair, 22 cancellations and 90 delays, while the Easyjet flights canceled for the moment 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 start of the protests for “not having obeyed the illegal orders of the airline”, for which they will present the “timely demands” , they announce. The next strike days will be July 18, 19, 20, 21, 26, 26, 27 and 28.

On the Easyjet side, after the first three days of the strike in July, the following days are scheduled for this Friday and July 16, 17, 29, 30 and 31, coinciding with the hours of greatest air traffic due to the departure of the operation. and arrival of this month. His motivation is to unblock the negotiation of collective agreement II, where the union demands an increase of around 40% of the base salary, currently at 950 euros, more than 800 below that of the TCPs of France and Germany .

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

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.

For its part, the airline has assured its customers that it will do “everything possible” to minimize disruption. But for the moment he is maintaining his decision not to raise the floor for cabin crew in 2022, that is to say a wage freeze at a time of inflation above 10%, they criticize with the ‘USO.

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.

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