The nightmare returned for many air travellers in Spain on Monday, 8 August as the strike action by cabin crew Ryanair's Spanish bases resumed. The industrial action, announced by the Unión Sindical Obrera (USO), will continue for five months - until 7 January 2023 - every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
The Irish low-cost airline operates bases in Spain at Madrid, Barcelona, Girona, Malaga, Seville, Valencia, Alicante, Santiago de Compostela, Palma and Ibiza.
Today (Tuesday, 16 August), as at 1pm, a total of 75 flights had been affected: with 2 cancellations and 73 affected by delays at Spanish airports. According to unions the airports affected by the cancellations are Madrid-Bajaras and Santiago de Compostela. As for the delayed routes, 9 have been registered at El Prat, 14 at Barajas, 21 in Palma, 10 in Malaga; 7 at Alicante, and 4 in Ibiza, Valencia and Santiago de Compostela.
The USO trade union organisation has called on Ryanair to comply with Spanish labour law and the "immediate" reinstatement of 11 workers "unfairly dismissed for exercising their right to strike", and that the "more than 100" actions launched against staff, which could end in possible dismissal, are withdrawn.
"We are very positive, we believe that the strike take-up today will be like the previous ones," said USO union delegate Lidia Arasanz.
During the 12 days of cabin crew strike action in July, some 319 cancellations and around 3,700 delays were recorded at Spanish airports, with Ibiza and Palma being some of the worst affected.
Meanwhile, Ryanair said that as a consequence of the strikes being poorly supported by two cabin crew unions in Spain, it does not expect any interruption in its operations of 3,000 daily flights during the months of August and September. Ryanair has already concluded a labour agreement with the main Spanish cabin crew union (CCOO).
An airline source explained: "These two unions [USO and Sitcpla], which represent a small part of our Spanish cabin crew, have carried out a series of ill-supported 'strikes' in June and July that have had little or no impact on Ryanair flights to/from Spain. In July alone, Ryanair operated more than 3,000 daily flights and carried a record 16.8 million passengers, many of them to/from Spain. Ryanair hopes that these latest strike threats, which only affect a small part of our Spanish cabin crew, will not have any impact on our flights to/from Spain during August and September.
"It remains to be corrected that although a small number of flights in Spain were cancelled or delayed in July, this was mainly due to ATC strikes and flight delays. In July no flight was cancelled due to strikes called by USO and Sitcpla. The vast majority of Ryanair's Spanish cabin crew are represented by the CCOO union, which has already reached a labour agreement with Ryanair that covers the majority of our Spanish cabin crew."