Aviation sources in Portugal and Spain said airlines have canceled 180 flights due to a strike by cabin crew and luggage workers, exacerbating disruptions to the two countries’ aviation sector during the summer season.
Portugal’s airports authority, ENA, said about 150 flights scheduled for Friday and Saturday were canceled, affecting Lisbon and Porto airports and other smaller airports due to a strike by ground crews to protest wages, and it will continue until Sunday evening.
Budget airline Ryanair, already hit by strikes in Spain, was forced to cancel about 100 flights in two days.
In Portugal, strikers are demanding an immediate increase in wages to allow workers to regain their purchasing power, the National Union of Civil Aviation Workers, which called for the strike, said in a statement.
The strikers also accuse the company of halting career advancement and not respecting labor rights for benefits during the holidays.
Portway has 2,500 employees and owns 100% of the assets of Ena, a subsidiary of the French company Vinci.
The company considered the strike “irresponsible” as it coincides with a period of great change in the aviation and tourism sectors, which are very important for the Portuguese economy.
And low-cost airline EasyJet has been hardest hit since Thursday’s decision to cancel many flights at Portugal’s most important airports as a result of this protest movement at Portway, an airport authority affiliate.
An administration official confirmed that “everything is calm” in Lisbon because most travelers on these lines were informed in advance.
The unions confirmed that the strike was 90 per cent successful in Lisbon and 85 per cent in Porto.
To a lesser extent, the strike affected the airports of Funchal on the island of Madeira and Faro in the tourist area of the Algarve (south).
In Spain, Iberia Express, the country’s national carrier’s low-cost carrier, said it had canceled 24 domestic flights as of Sunday as flight crews began a 10-day strike demanding higher wages.
Iberia Express said in a statement that the cancellation of flights within Spain from 28 to 30 August will affect around 3,000 passengers.