EasyJet cancels 14 international flights as pilots strike

Six of the flights were to Barcelona and the rest to Palma de Mallorca

Passengers in the EasyJet check-in area at El Prat airport, in Barcelona, Spain. Bloomberg
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EasyJet was forced to cancel 14 international flights on Friday, as the airline’s Spanish pilots began a new three-day work stoppage.

The pilots are demanding the reinstatement of the conditions they enjoyed before the pandemic, union officials said.

Coming at the height of the summer tourist season, the strikes at EasyJet add further problems to a sector already struggling with industrial action at airports across Europe.

Rival budget airline Ryanair has experienced rolling strikes by cabin crew, which began in June and may continue until January.

On Friday, a separate strike was suspended at Leeds Bradford airport after security staff were given an improved offer.

EasyJet pilots began their first three-day strike on August 12, prompting the cancellation of 36 flights in and out of Barcelona, Malaga and the Balearic Islands. A third strike is scheduled to take place from August 27-29.

Six of the EasyJet cancellations on Friday were flights into or out of Barcelona, while the other eight involved arrivals and departures from Palma de Mallorca in the Balearic Isles, the SEPLA union said.

“These are international flights to or from Geneva, Milan, Paris, London or Basel,” the union said.

The strike began only two weeks after the airline's cabin crew went on strike, resulting in a deal.

During the pandemic, pilots agreed to pay cuts to ensure “not only our jobs but the survival of the company itself in Spain,” the union has said, adding that EasyJet has refused to restore their pre-Covid working conditions.

A planned strike by airport security staff has been suspended while workers are consulted over an improved pay offer.

Members of the GMB union at Leeds Bradford airport were set to walk out for three days next week after a ballot vote that was 93 per cent in favour of industrial action.

“Following a number of commitments put forward by Leeds Bradford bosses to improve pay, we now need to fully consult with our members working in security at the airport,” said GMB negotiator Joe Wheatley.

“GMB's strike committee has agreed to suspend next week's planned strike action to give us the facility, time and space to consider the new, improved offer with our members.”

Cabin crew at low-cost Spanish carrier Iberia Express also announced plans to strike after talks over pay stalled.

The USO union has called walkouts from August 28 to September 6 after failing to reach a deal linking pay to inflation.

A rolling strike by Ryanair staff has so far had a limited impact, involving more delays than flight cancellations.

Updated: August 19, 2022, 4:01 PM
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