Ryanair and EasyJet strikes coincide to cause travel chaos in Spain

EasyJet cabin crew on Friday resumed strike action that coincided with a Ryanair walkout and added to the travel chaos across Europe.

Ryanair and EasyJet strikes coincide to cause travel chaos in Spain
An Easyjet Airbus A319-111 aircraft lands at El Prat airport in Barcelona. Photo: Pau BARRENA / AFP

Travellers hoping to go to or from Spain today were faced with two-headed strike action, as EasyJet cabin crew resumed a walkout that coincided with Ryanair’s latest round of strikes. As of 1.00pm on Friday, 28 flights had been canceled and 123 delayed across Spain, according to unions representing the workers.

On Friday the majority of affected flights were Ryanair, with 22 cancellations and 90 delays, while EasyJet had 6 cancellations and 33 delays.


Much like Ryanair’s strike action earlier in the week, the airport most affected by the industrial action has been Barcelona’s El Prat, which on Friday had 12 cancellations, eight from Ryanair and four from EasyJet.

Palma airport has also been heavily affected with 13 cancellations, eight from Ryanair and two from EasyJet. EasyJet has less operative bases in Spain, so no other airports are affected by EasyJet cancellations so far today, but Ryanair strike action has caused at least two flights to be cancelled at Alicante, Ibiza, Madrid, Santiago de Compostela and Valencia airports.


As for delayed flights, Palma had the most on Friday, with 35 delays, 11 being EasyJet and 24 from Ryanair. El Prat was second, with 33 flights delayed -12 from EasyJet and 21 from Ryanair.

Alicante, an airport with very heavy Ryanair flight traffic, had 11 delays, all Ryanair, and Girona three Ryanair delays. 

Ibiza also had three Ryanair flights delayed, and Madrid-Barajas 13 Ryanair flights affected. Malaga had 8 Ryanair and 10 EasyJet flights delayed, and Seville faced two delayed Ryanair flights. 

A summer of strike action

The start of summer has seen strike action across different sectors across the continent. Pilots are on strike in Sweden and Denmark, railway staff have taken industrial action in England, and Heathrow Airport recently announced it was capping the number of passengers passing through the airport due to staff shortages.

READ ALSO: Airport chaos in Europe: Airlines cancel 15,000 flights in August

Travellers in Spain, however, today got a double whammy of two separate industrial disputes overlapping.

EasyJet cabin crew are protesting at the breakdown in negotiation of their collective bargaining agreement, during which unions called for an rise of 40 percent base salary, and unions USO and Sitcpla are at loggerheads with Ryanair in negotiating a new collective agreement with its workers. Union bosses say Ryanair refuses to adapt the contracts to Spanish legislation.

EasyJet industrial action will affect travel on Friday 15, Saturday 16, and Sunday 17 July, with further walkouts planned for 29, 30 and 31 July.

The latest round of Ryanair strikes end today, Friday 15th, but will resume from July 18 to 21 and from July 25 to 28.

Strike dates

Ryanair cabin crew are, as of now, scheduled to strike on 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27 and 28 of July.

EasyJet staff are, as of now, scheduled to strike on 16, 17, 29, 30 and 31 July.

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EasyJet pilots strike in Spain

EasyJet's Spanish pilots walked out on Friday, calling for the reinstatement of conditions they enjoyed before the coronavirus pandemic, two weeks after a strike by the low-cost carrier's cabin crew had resulted in a deal.

EasyJet pilots strike in Spain

Easyjet’s Spanish pilots walked out on Friday, calling for the reinstatement of conditions they enjoyed before the coronavirus pandemic, two weeks after a strike by the low-cost carrier’s cabin crew had resulted in a deal.

Coming at the height of the summer tourist season, the new Easyjet stoppages will add to the problems facing the sector.

Cabin crew at budget rival Ryanair have been staging 24-hour walkouts since June, which are likely to continue until January 2023, unions said.

The Easyjet pilots, for their part, are staging a first three-day strike from Friday at the airports of Barcelona, Malaga and the Mediterranean islands of Palma de Majorca and Minorca, the SEPLA union said.

Two more three-day walkouts are planned later in August.

“This is the only possible alternative for the pilots’ representatives, after more than six months of negotiations, at which the company has rejected all proposals made,” the union said.

The airline cancelled eight flights on Friday, most of them from Barcelona, Spain’s second-busiest airport.

“During the worst months of the pandemic, we agreed to lower our salaries to guarantee not only jobs, but the survival of the company itself in Spain,” the union said.

Now, however, the company “refuses to recover the working conditions. “We are not asking for anything that we did not have two years ago,” said a union spokesman.

In late July, EasyJet said it took a sizeable financial hit from sector-wide disruptions, notably staff shortages, but still slashed quarterly losses as demand recovered.

Just days later, EasyJet cabin crews ended their strike, after reaching a deal with management to raise wages by 22 percent over three years.