Ryanair strikes Spain: affected flights as staff stage five-month walkout

Ryanair cabin crew across Spain will go on strike every week for the next five months to demand better working conditions

Cabin crew unions, Unión Sindical Obrera (USO) and Sitcpla, have called for walkouts to demand better working conditions, including 22 days of vacation and two extra monthly payments to comply with Spanish law.

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Lidia Aransanz, a head of USO’s Ryanair section, said: “Since the company was unable to listen to workers, we were forced to declare new strike days.”

Their demands also include the immediate reinstatement of 11 cabin crew members who were sacked over strikes in July and an end to subcontracting by employment agencies such as Workforce and Crewlink.

Ryanair cabin crew across Spain to go on strike every week for the next five months (Photo: Getty Images)

When do the strikes take place?

Cabin crew across Spain will be retiring over a five-month period from August 8th to January 7th, 2023.

The industrial action will take place every week from Monday to Thursday and will last 24 hours, it is said euronews.

The new strike action is expected to mainly affect the airports of Madrid-Barajas, Barcelona, ​​​​Malaga, Alicante, Seville and Palma de Mallorca, cutting both national and international connections.

The latest strikes follow 12 days of strikes by Spanish cabin crew earlier this month, when workers demanded the same working conditions as their counterparts in other European countries like France and Germany.

Ten Spanish airports are affected, including Madrid, Malaga, Barcelona, ​​​​Alicante, Seville, Palma, Valencia, Girona, Santiago de Compostela and Ibiza.

The number of canceled flights was limited compared to other countries where Ryanair employees were also on strike, as Spanish regulation forces airlines and employees to maintain a minimum level of service.

A Ryanair spokesman said: “Ryanair recently reached an agreement with Spain’s main CCOO union on salaries, rosters and allowances for its Spanish cabin crew.

“The recent USO/SITCPLA strikes have been poorly supported with minimal effect.

“Ryanair has operated over 45,000 flights to/from Spain in the last 3 months with less than 1% crew affected and Ryanair expects minimal (if any) disruption this winter.”

Ryanair has fought threats of staff strikes over pay after cutting wages during the pandemic, but said it has reached agreements with unions representing more than 80% of its pilots and about 70% of cabin crew.

The airline added: “We hope to finalize arrangements with the small balance in the near future.”

EasyJet workers are also staging three three-day strikes this month. Two have already taken place, the third is planned between July 29th and 31st.

Around 450 workers who work at Barcelona’s El Prat Airport, Malaga and Palma de Mallorca will leave the company.

The USO said its members in Spain typically have a base salary of €950 a month, which is €850 less than easyJet cabin crew in France and Germany. The union has been at odds with the airline since February.

Easyjet said it plans to operate its entire flight schedule but acknowledged there could be disruptions to its programme.

What happens if my flight is canceled due to strikes?

If your flights are part of a package holiday you will be offered either an alternative trip or a full refund, but if you only bought the flights your compensation will depend on when your flight is canceled and how long you are delayed.

If your flight is cancelled, your airline should offer you the choice of an alternative flight or a refund.

If your flight is canceled less than two weeks in advance, you may be able to claim compensation based on alternative flight times.

The amount you are entitled to also depends on how far you have travelled. You can claim up to £220 per person for flights under 1,500km and up to £520 per person for flights over 3,500km.

Airlines must also provide sufficient drinks and accommodation if your flight is canceled at short notice and your new flight departs the following day. This assistance must also be offered if your flight is delayed by at least two hours.