Aviation News

September 1, 2011

Air Europa Pilots Declare Indefinite Strike

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Written by: BNO News
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Pilots of Spanish airline Air Europa will begin an indefinite strike on September 22, the pilots’ trade union Sepla announced in a statement released on Thursday.

EC-KRJ, an Air Europa E-195, taxis to the active at Madrid Barajas. (Photo by jmiguel.rodriguez)

The strike by the pilots comes after a year of disagreements with Air Europa which has been “externalizing” its services for a month now, endangering the jobs of pilots and infringing the collective agreement established between the trade union and the airline.

The strike, which is supported by most of the 500 pilots employed by Air Europa, is scheduled to take place on Monday and Thursday of every week in an indefinite mode until the parties reach a solution.

The pilots’ trade union is mainly protesting against cooperation arrangements between Air Europa and the Portuguese airline Orbest, which ‘externalize’ Air Europa services.

In December 2010, both airlines made a deal to share flights to CancĂșn, MĂ©xico and Punta Cana in Dominican Republic. Six months later, the companies made a similar arrangement for flights between the Canary Islands and the Iberian Peninsula. This last deal was reached without the trade union’s approval.

“With this action, Air Europa not only violates what our collective agreement establishes, but threatens our jobs. It is all part of a strategic plan to leave Air Europa without content,” a Sepla representative said.

According to Sepla, these kind of arrangements cannot be done without the trade union’s consensus. The group is also accusing Air Europa executives of a boycott by withholding key information. Among the reasons for the strike, the pilots have reported being victims of work harassment during the last months.

Air Europa, owned entirely by Globalia, is the third largest airline in Spain after Iberia and Vueling. It operates flights within Europe, to holiday resorts in the Canary and Balearic Islands as well as scheduled services to North and South America. The announced strike would affect an estimated of 280 daily flights.

The airline did not immediately respond to the announcement.

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