Spain airport strikes 2022: when are Spanish strikes, which airlines are striking, will it impact my travel?
Ryanair and Iberia Express cabin crew strike and EasyJet pilots are striking in Spain
The strike is expected to lead to delays and disruptions over the UK bank holiday weekend and beyond.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Why are some Spanish airline staff striking?
On 17 August 2022, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported the USO union has called the cabin crew of the Madrid base of Iberia Express to a 10-day strike - from 28 August until 6 September over pay.
The Unión Sindical Obrera union said in a statement that the company has maintained, since 2021 when negotiations began, "no interest in improving the working conditions of the group, opposing any union proposal and offering alternatives far from reality.”
The strike will see 517 workers walk out, and will add to the strikes that the Ryanair cabin crew and EasyJet pilots are carrying out this month.
Pilots with EasyJet called a strike in three periods of 72 hours each, over the days of 12,13, 12, 19, 20, 21, 27, 28 and 29 August, over the refusal of the company to recover pre-pandemic conditions.
The Sepla Union has explained that “last possible resource, as all the attempts made by the pilots’ representatives to reach an agreement have failed", after "more than six months of negotiations and six meetings in which they have presented three social proposals rejected by the company, according to El Pais.
This comes after EasyJet finalised negotiations with the EasyJet cabin crew.
Ryanair cabin crew
Spanish Unions USO and Sitcpla have called 1,600 workers belonging to the Ryanair, Crewlink and Workforce companies on a strike - the third round of strikes so far this summer - over Ryanair’s refusal to negotiate a new collective agreement.
The strikes will occur every week, from Monday to Thursday, until 7 January 2023.
Will it affect my travel?
According to USO, this industrial action against Ryanair has led to cancellations and delays at Spanish airports.
However, Ryanair has said it expects minimal disruption this winter.
A spokesperson for Ryanair said in a statement: “Ryanair expects that these latest threatened strikes, which involve only a handful of our Spanish cabin crew, will have zero impact on our Spanish flights or schedules in August or September”.
Flights may be cancelled or delayed if the unions and the airlines do not reach an agreement.
Those flying over the bank holiday weekend may see some disruptions if they have booked a Spanish holiday with EasyJet.
In a statement they said: “We would like to apologise to impacted customers for any inconvenience caused and are doing all possible to minimise any disruption as a result of the strike action, providing those affected with free transfers to alternative flights or a refund as well as hotel accommodation and meals where required.”
It is said that EasyJet’s Spanish bases in Barcelona, Malaga and Palma, in Mallorca, are affected by the action.
Are Spanish airport staff striking?
Reports that members of three Spanish workers’ unions across Spanish airports have voted for 25 days of industrial action in the next four months are ‘false’.
Recent reports suggested that Spanish airline staff, including car park staff, baggage handlers, security, IT, retail and catering staff had agreed to walk out over 25 days of industrial action in September, October, November and December.
However, the USO told NationalWorld that “only the Ryanair and Iberia Express cabin crew strike and EasyJet pilots” are striking.
Are strikes happening elsewhere in Europe?
Workers in Portugal airports had industrial action planned for 19, 20, and 21 August, which was called off.
The strike would have affected major airports including Lisbon and Faro, as unions fought for improved pay.
However, it is reported that baggage handling staff are planning to strike at the end of this month, on 26, 27 and 28 August, affecting Lisbon airport, Faro, Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport, Flores, Horta, Ponta Delgada, Porto, and Santa Maria.
What to do if your flight is cancelled?
Passengers are reminded to keep an eye on travel updates, as flight cancellations could be a possibility.
Travellers are also encouraged to ensure everything is in order ahead of their holidays, including visa requirements, Covid vaccination requirements and time duration on your passport.
You are entitled to a full refund, but you can only accept a refund or a rebooking - not both.
However, if the cancellation or delay is not due to extraordinary circumstances - you should be entitled to compensation.