The fourth day of the strike by Ryanair cabin crew has forced the cancellation of eleven flights departing from or arriving at Barcelona's El Prat airport, according to one of the striking unions, USO, counting only flights affected up till 1pm. As well as the six cancelled flights in the morning between Barcelona and Billund (Denmark), Krakow and Paris-Beauvais - three flights out and three into Barcelona from each of these cities - also suspended have been similar return flights between the Catalan capital and both Brussels Charleroi and Naples, and one additional flight between the Catalan capital and Malaga was cancelled. In addition, twelve flights that had to leave Barcelona and twelve more inbound were delayed, while at Girona airport two arrivals and one departure have been affected. Ryanair management sources says that the impact across the Spanish state has been "minimal", with less than 3% of scheduled flights affected. The strike is set to continue this Friday and Saturday, 1st and 2nd July. Meanwhile, Easyjet's cabin crew strike, scheduled for the first, third and last weekend of July is still on, after a new mediation session failed to reach agreement this Thursday at the Interconfederal Mediation and Arbitration Service (SIMA ). The USO union has criticized the fact that since the strike was called, the airline has not made "any movement" towards their requests. Thus, this Friday and Saturday, both Ryanair and Easyjet passengers flying to or from Spanish airports may be affected by the strike, and in the case of Easyjet, the action continues on Sunday as well.
Effects of Easyjet and Ryanair strikes
The industrial action by staff of the Irish low-cost airline is affecting Ryanair's ten Spanish bases and up till 1pm this Thursday a total of 28 flights with origin or destination in Spain have been affected, and 54 further flights have suffered delays in departures, as well as 70 on their arrivals, according to the union. In a statement, USO blames Ryanair because it considers that the "minimum services" which must be covered includes 100% of the flights scheduled for this Thursday across the Spanish state, but notes that in some cases the full crews to operate them have not been cited, for reasons which the union group does not know. On the other hand, it states that the system of "maximum profit of Ryanair has caused chain reactions of cancellations and delays" and warned early this afternoon that they may get worse throughout the day. Airline sources have commented that flights operating to or from Spain have suffered minimal damage as a result of the strike and delays in air traffic control, they said. In a brief statement, the airline accuses the unions that have called the protest - USO and Sitcpla - of stating that "they have deliberately undermined the resolution of the Spanish transport ministry's minimum services by instructing the crew not to turn up to work on protected flights." In this regard, the company describes these instructions as "illegal" and points out that "they harm Spanish consumers and the Spanish economy." Finally, Ryanair says it has sent emails or SMS to notify passengers affected by the industrial action which affects its ten Spanish bases: Madrid, Malaga, Barcelona, Alicante, Sevilla, Palma, Valencia, Girona, Santiago de Compostela and Ibiza.
Meanwhile, the first days of strike action by Easyjet's cabin crew are looming after the failure of negotiations, over which the union has said that "we had made it clear that in the event that the company showed any movement, even if it was not ideal, we were willing to keep talking", stated Miguel Galán, the general secretary of the USO union at Easyjet. The union and the company have another meeting at SIMA on July 7th. USO has called on Easyjet’s cabin crew to go on strike for nine days on the weekends in July. Specifically, these are the days 1st-3rd, 15th-17th, 29th-31st July. The unions are demanding that working conditions be equated with those of bases in other European countries, such as France and Germany. There are more than 450 cabin crew called to strike and Barcelona-El Prat airport is one of the three airports affected, along with Málaga and Palma (Mallorca).