Aviation News

December 22, 2010

LAN Flights Grounded by Flight Attendants Strike

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By: Matt Molnar
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LAN flight attendants began a strike on Tuesday morning alter refusing a deal offered by the airline, causing all flights to be canceled amidst anger and complaints from passengers.

LAN Airbus A320

LAN Airbus A320 before landing at Jorge Newbery Airport. (Photo by Luis Argerich)

LAN Argentina said that since the early hours of Tuesday, a group of flight attendants with the ATCPE union had decided to stop their work, causing delays and cancellations at Ministro Pistarini International Airport and Jorge Newbery Airport in Buenos Aires.

Flight attendants are protesting against a wage increase which was accorded between LAN and ATCPE on November 26. In this deal, which workers considered to be illegal, the union and the air carrier agreed on an average 30 percent increase of wages.

Argentinian authorities and LAN have tried to negotiate the resumption of labor but talks were halted when authorities threatened flight attendants to end the strike or risk losing the union. However, the workers were not intimidated and continued their protest.

As of Tuesday afternoon, approximately 20 flights were canceled and four others were delayed at the Jorge Newbery airport while only five flights were canceled at Ministro Pistarini International Airport. However, as time goes by, more flights are being delayed and will eventually be canceled if the workers continue their strike.

During the demonstration, strikers blocked the ticket booths and counters at the airports and displayed messages in which they expressed their demands.

LAN has offered the affected passengers refunds for their tickets, changing the date and flight or changing their destination. The airline offers 30 daily flights, and may all have to be canceled.

“LAN Argentina operates with the highest standards of quality, service and safety. The company expects that this situation will be solved as soon as possible and regrets the troubles that this action has caused,” the airline said in a statement.