The pilots of the Air Europa airline, whose purchase the IAG group agreed with the Hidalgo family this February, have started a strike on Monday that will last on May 2, 4 and 5. The strikes, called by the Sepla union, coincide with the May bank holiday, one of the main spring vacation periods, and add to the accumulation of conflicts in the aviation sector this season. The Air Europa pilots, whose transfer to IAG is pending before the European competition authorities, have started protests to demand improvements in working conditions.
According to the union, this measure responds to “the tension and labor conflict generated by Air Europa executives playing with the rights of workers, disguising as proposals what represents a real loss of labor rights acquired in the IV Collective Agreement” .
Barajas airport concentrates the majority of incidents
“Giving in to these pressures from managers would have been irresponsible with the professional and personal future of the pilot group,” adds the pilot group.
The strike has affected some flights scheduled for this May 1. First thing in the morning, the airline reported incidents on 18 flights, most of them at Barajas airport, the company’s main center of operations.
The Air Europa strike has affected some 18 flights early in the morning
The union Sepla has reported that it will sue the Ministry of Transport for the establishment of minimum services, which they consider abusive and contrary to the right to strike. “This recurring application of minimum services by the Government is abusive and void, as the National Court has ruled in the more than ten lawsuits that the union has filed for this reason in previous strikes, such as the most recent in Iberia Regional Air Nostrum”, they have affirmed.
The Air Europa pilots’ strike adds pressure to a tourist season that is expected to see record demand. Air Nostrum pilots have also staged strikes in recent weeks, Vueling cabin staff in France have also announced several days of strikes and air traffic controllers in France have accumulated more than a month of protests in which they have put the limits of air traffic control operations. airlines throughout Europe, affecting more than ten million passengers according to Eurocontrol. Ryanair, the first airline in Europe for passengers, is leading an initiative to collect signatures and force the EC to protect overflights in French airspace, which has already accumulated more than 600,000 requests -they must reach one million adhesions to activate the proposal- .
The pilots will sue Transport for the minimum services
The pilots union points out that, with the definition of these minimum services, the Ministry of Transport is “completely voiding the right to strike and minimizing the effects of it, to the point of prioritizing the protection of the interests of the airlines against to pilots, workers in the aviation sector and citizens”.
According to the resolution issued last Friday by the Ministry of Transport, 100% of the flights dedicated to emergency work must be respected, while for domestic routes to or from non-peninsular territories, up to 77% of those must be maintained. depart from Lanzarote or Tenerife North. The range of minimum services established for these routes ranges up to a minimum of 50% for flights from Malaga, 53% from Alicante and 55% from Valencia.
For journeys within the peninsula whose travel time by public transport is greater than 5 hours and international flights, minimum services must be respected that range from 38% of flights departing from Bilbao; 46% in cases such as Alicante, Barcelona and Seville, and 53% from Madrid. With regard to peninsular domestic flights whose travel time by public transport is less than 5 hours, minimum services of between 22% and 26% must be offered at points of origin such as Alicante, Valencia or Granada, and 34 %, in the case of Barcelona.
It is not the only conflict in the sector. The Swissport Handling ground handling workers have also been called to strike by the USO, FSCCCOO, and FESMC-UGT unions starting this Monday and indefinitely. Airports in Germany or the United Kingdom have also called ground personnel strikes for the next few days.