Dozens of flights cancelled in Portugal, Spain due to strikes
Nearly 180 flights in Portugal and Spain have been cancelled because of strikes by cabin crew and baggage handlers, airlines and airport officials said Friday, leading to further disruption in the busy summer season.
early 180 flights in Portugal and Spain have been cancelled because of strikes by cabin crew and baggage handlers, airlines and airport officials said Friday, leading to further disruption in the busy summer season.
Portugal’s airport operator ANA said almost 150 flights planned for Friday and Saturday were cancelled, affecting Lisbon and Porto airports as well as other smaller airports because of a strike over pay by ground crew that will last until Sunday evening.
Budget airline Ryanair — already affected by strikes in Spain — was forced to cancel around 100 flights over the two days.
Staff at airport handling company Portway want “an immediate increase in wages” to allow workers to “regain their purchasing power”, Portugal’s Civil Aviation Workers’ Union (SINTAC) said in a statement.
Portway, which employs around 2,500 people, is a subsidiary of ANA.
But Portway said in a statement the strike was “irresponsible” because it was taking place at an “intense time for aviation and tourism”, one of the main drivers of the Portuguese economy.
In Spain, Iberia Express, the low-cost arm of the country’s national carrier, said it was cancelling 24 domestic flights from Sunday when its cabin crew starts a 10-day strike seeking higher pay.
The upcoming walkout comes as Spain’s airline sector is struggling with rolling strikes by staff at rival airlines EasyJet and Ryanair.
The cancellations, which relate to flights within Spain on August 28-30, will affect some 3,000 passengers, Iberia Express said in a statement.
Two thirds of those affected have already been moved to other flights or offered alternative transportation.
The stoppage, which will run from August 28 to September 6 in Spain, is backed by the USO and SITCPLA unions.
They are calling for a salary increase to compensate for soaring inflation, which in July stood at 10.8 percent.
So far, the airline has not yet decided how many more flights will need to be cancelled during the rest of the strike.
Iberia Express connects Madrid with about 40 cities across Europe.
Spain’s national carrier Iberia is owned by IAG, which also owns British Airways and Ireland’s Aer Lingus.