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Air Europa pilots set to strike this summer

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Air Europa pilots set to strike this summer
An Air Europa plane takes off from Malaga airport. File photo: AFP
14:56 CEST+02:00
In more bad news for travellers, pilots with Spanish airline Air Europa are set to strike in the coming weeks.

Although the final dates for the strikes are yet to be set, they are expected to take place at the end of July and the beginning of August, after pilots at the carrier voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking industrial action.

Pilots have vowed to maintain so-called minimum services during the strike as is required under Spanish law, but the action is bound to cause disruption, including flight delays and cancellations, if it goes ahead as planned.

Air Europa pilots are protesting the creation of the new low-cost Air Europa Express service. Eleven Air Europa planes will become part of the new fleet, while the budget carrier will also take on some of the established firm's passenger-carrying work.

But Air Europa pilots say the pilots for the new service will be brought in from outside at lower costs and won't be covered by industry agreements.

The strike comes after six days of chaos at Barcelona-based Spanish airline Vueling which blamed unspecified "operational difficulties" for flight disruptions.

But both a union spokesperson representing flight crews and the Spanish government said Vueling were to blame for the turmoil because the carrier had failed to properly plan for the busy summer months.

On Tuesday, Vueling president Javier Sánchez-Prieto apologized for the carrier's problems, saying eight planes would be brought in to shore up services as of Wednesday.

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