Vueling pilots go on strike, 246 flights cancelled

Pilots working for Spanish airline Vueling started a two-day strike Wednesday to demand better work conditions, leading to the cancellation of 246 flights, the low-cost company said.

Vueling pilots go on strike, 246 flights cancelled
Photo: AFP

The work stoppage will continue on Thursday and will take place again on  May 3rd and 4th next week, mostly affecting flights to or from Barcelona, the  airline's main hub.

Pilots are asking the airline, which belongs to British group IAG, to raise  their salaries to the same level as their competitors and give certain  benefits to those who will be transferred to bases abroad as the airline 

“More than 120 pilots have left the company since the start of 2017, which  gives an idea of the malaise in the group,” pilots' union SEPLA said in a statement.

According to Vueling, the strike will only affect 19 percent of flights, with 122 cancellations on Wednesday and 124 on Thursday.   

The airline transported 29.5 million passengers in 2017, a record, and made a profit of €117.3 million ($143 million), 239 percent more than the previous year, according to its annual report.

The group employs 915 pilots out of a total of 3,089 employees.

READ ALSO: Barcelona air traffic controllers announce summer of strikes


Spain detects first cases of infectious British Covid variant

Four cases of the infectious coronavirus variant that recently emerged in Britain have now been confirmed in Madrid, the regional government said on Saturday.

Spain detects first cases of infectious British Covid variant
People wearing face masks queue to get tested for COVID-19 at Gibraltar International Airport on December 22. Photo: Jorge Guerrero/AFP
The cases are the first so far detected in Spain. All four cases involved people who recently arrived from the UK, the Madrid regional government's deputy health chief Antonio Zapatero told a news conference.
“The patients are not seriously ill, we know that this strain is more transmissible, but it does not cause more serious illness,” he said. “There is no need for alarm,” Zapatero added.
There are another three suspected cases of the coronavirus variant but the results of tests will only be available on Tuesday or Wednesday, Zapatero said.
The new strain of the virus, which experts fear is more contagious, has prompted more than 50 countries including Spain to impose travel restrictions on the UK.
Madrid has since Tuesday banned all entries from the United Kingdom except for Spanish nationals and residents.