Air Europa Pilots Begin Walkout

Air Europa Pilots Begin Walkout

DALLAS Air Europa (UX) pilots are set to go on strike today, Monday, May 22, tomorrow, Thursday and Friday this week in an ongoing dispute over pay. This has led to the Spanish carrier canceling over 114, predominately domestic flights.

Members of the pilots union Sindacato de Pilotos de Espana (SEPLA) called the strikes, which will occur this week and next on May 29-30 and June 1-2. Four days of strikes took place earlier this month. The union has warned that strikes “will be extended in the coming months if the company refuses to negotiate a fair agreement.” This could lead to further disruption during the busy summer season.

The union said its members fully cooperated with the airline’s cost-cutting measures during the COVID pandemic. However, the same cooperation has yet to be returned as the airline seeks profits by increasing ticket prices by 54%.

The airline has cancelled 114 flights. Photo: Air Europa.

‘Minimum Services Law’

Despite the union registering a complaint with the Spanish Ministry of Transportation, the government body has now imposed a ‘minimum services law.’ This means that 90% of services must be operated on strike days. This has led to crews from other airlines, such as easyJet (U2), which has several bases across the Spanish mainland and the Balearic Islands, and air traffic control community members to threaten to join the walkouts.

Air Europa is in the midst of a €400m (US$438m) takeover by International Airlines Group (IAG). The airline group will retain the brand while managed by Spanish flag carrier Iberia (IB). The move announced in February will allow IAG to expand its footprint in the Latin American and Asian markets while establishing its Madrid (MAD) base as a major competitor to other European hubs.

Featured Image: Air Europa (EC-MHL) Airbus A330-343. Photo: Fabrizio Spicuglia/Airways.

European Deputy Editor
Writer, aviation fanatic, and Airways European Deputy Editor, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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