PILOTS across Spain working for low-cost carrier Ryanair have announced five days of strikes in September – four of which are on the same day as those confirmed by cabin crew nationwide.
The Spanish Airline Pilots’ Union (SEPLA), pictured left, of which 500 of Ryanair’s 800 pilots in Spain are members, says the strikes will take place on Thursday and Friday, September 19 and 20, then on Sunday, September 22, and the following Friday and Sunday, September 27 and 29.
Cabin crew unions SITCPLA and USO have already formally announced industrial action starting this coming Sunday, September 1, and also on September 2, 6, 8,13 and 15.
They will also down tools on the last four days of the pilots’ strike – September 20, 22, 27 and 29.
Ryanair has notified everyone by due to fly in the first half of the month whether their flights will go ahead as scheduled or whether there will be any changes.
It is expected those who have booked on strike days may be offered seats on different flights or at alternative times, although as yet, it is not known how many connections – if any – will be cancelled.
Those due to travel on the announced strike dates and who have been told their journey will proceed should allow plenty of extra time, but still be prepared for delays.
For short-haul flights, standard compensation for delays of three hours or more is a flat rate of €250, and affected travellers need only to contact the customer services team to arrange for this to be logged.
SEPLA pilots are striking for the same reason as cabin crew – the planned closure of three of Ryanair’s bases in Spain.
Once Gran Canaria, Tenerife South and Girona-Costa Brava close, as well as drastically slashing options for Ryanair flights serving most of the Canary Islands, they will also mean 100 pilots and several hundred cabin crew being made redundant.
SEPLA says there is ‘no legal or financial argument’ to justify these closures.
The last major labour dispute between Ryanair and its pilots in Spain successfully came to a close in October 2018 when an agreement was drawn up between both parties to apply Spanish employment law, where this was more beneficial to staff than that of the Republic of Ireland where the airline is based, to all pilots operating from Spanish air bases.