Hundreds of flights cancelled by airline pilots’ strike in Spain

STRIKING pilots at a low-cost airline in Spain have forced the cancellation of 222 flights today and tomorrow (May 3 and 4) – see full list below.

Vueling has cancelled 116 flights today and a further 106 tomorrow. many from its Barcelona base.

It is already known that a small number of UK flights at London Gatwick and Luton Airport are among those affected. 

But the bulk of the cancelled flights will be domestic services from Barcelona, Alicante, Malaga-Costa del Sol and Granada.

Vueling says passengers on the cancelled flights should receive a notification by email or text message.

The airline predicts that 86% of passengers will not be affected by the protest, and that of the remaining 14%, most will be able to fly in 24 hours compared to their original schedule.

The  Spanish low-cost airline Vueling operates flights to Alicante, Barcelona, Palma, Ibiza and Malaga from many British airports including London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Luton, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Edinburgh.

It is the second Vueling pilots’ strike in their history after the recent 24-hour strikes on April 25 and 26.

Spanish airline pilots union (SEPLA) and Vueling, owned by British Airways’ parent company International Airlines Group have, so far, failed to reach an agreement over claimed breaches of employment contracts and the airline’s refusal to guarantee greater growth in Spain than in its foreign bases.

Currently, Vueling has around 1,000 pilots based in Spain and about 150 overseas. But it is feared this could change as bases are moved abroad.

Juan Manuel Redondo, head of the trade union section of SEPLA at  Vueling, said, “Now that Vueling is tripling its profits, and that there have even been distributions of up to €100 million euros of dividends before results, the conditions for the pilots do not change. 

The union claims Vueling pilots receive 30% less on average than their main competitors including Ryanair and easyJet.

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