Could Spain’s Vueling be the next airline to face strikes?

Cabin crew for the low-cost Spanish airline have threatened to follow the example of their counterparts at Ryanair and Easyjet and stop working during August unless they receive a pay rise.

Vueling management and their employees have been discussing the conditions of a new collective agreement for the past weeks, but so far no new wages deal has been reached. (Photo by JOSEP LAGO / AFP)

Summer air travel in Spain and Europe continues to be marred by problems ranging from flight cancellations, delays, lost luggage and general travel chaos, involving popular airlines Ryanair, EasyJet, Lufthsansa, Swiss and Brussels Airlines.

The latest airline which could be hit with setbacks is Barcelona-headquartered Vueling.

On Tuesday, between 300 and 400 of its employees protested outside the offices of Vueling’s holding company IAG at Barcelona’s El Prat Airport, calling for a 6.5 percent rise in their salaries and better conditions relating to work-life balance.

The 6.5 percent figure corresponds to the rise in Spain’s Consumer Price Index at the end of 2021, the highest in 29 years, with many workers arguing they struggle to make ends meet in the Catalan capital with what Vueling pays them. 

“If the company doesn’t change its stance, we’ll soon suggest a strike” warned Guadalupe Romero, spokesperson for Stavla, one of the unions which represents Vueling’s Spain-based workers. 

“We agreed to put negotiations on hold during the pandemic due to other urgent matters, including furlough negotiations, but now Covid-19 is behind us and the same problems exist.

“The current agreement is outdated, and inflation has made it impossible to make ends meet. Added to that are the exhausting work hours”.

Vueling management and their employees have been discussing the conditions of a new collective agreement for the past weeks, but so far no new wages deal has been reached. 

A key meeting scheduled for Friday August 5th at Spain’s Mediation and Arbitration Service (SIMA) could decide whether Vueling cabin crew go ahead with the stoppage this month.

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Ryanair strikes: Which Spanish airports are most affected?

Ryanair cabin crew in Spain resumed strike action on Monday. But which airports will be affected, and how long will it last?

Ryanair strikes: Which Spanish airports are most affected?

Ryanair’s long-running cabin crew walkout dispute returned to Spanish airports this Monday, 8th August. 

With several strikes throughout June and July, the union representing striking workers, Unión Sindical Obrera (USO), announced today that the industrial action will continue for five months – until 7 January 2023 – and take place every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday until then.

READ MORE: Ryanair cabin crew in Spain begin latest round of strike action

During the first two weeks alone, it is anticipated that 1.4 million passengers will be affected – an average of 130,600 travellers every single day.

Which airports will be affected?

The budget Irish airline, a favourite of holidaymakers from Britain and Ireland, has operational bases across Spain and all could be affected by strike action throughout the rest of the year.

If you have booked a Ryanair flight to any of the following airports, keep in mind strike action will be happening on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through the summer and likely until the end of the year if no agreement is made between striking staff and employers. 

Ryanair bases in Spain: Madrid-Barajas, Barcelona El-Prat, ​​Girona, Santiago de Compostela, Alicante, Palma, Ibiza, Malaga, Seville, Valencia, and Palma de Mallorca. 

The airports that will be most affected by the latest walk-outs are: Madrid-Barajas, Barcelona-El Prat, Malaga, Alicante, Seville and Palma de Mallorca.

Both domestic and international flights will be disrupted, and with 650 routes, Ryanair has the highest passenger volume in the Spanish air travel market.

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


By 9am on the morning of Monday 8th, 61 flights had been affected by the latest wave of staff walkouts, with 10 cancellations and 111 delayed flights.

Unions demands include the immediate reinstatement of 11 workers who were sacked for taking part in strike action in July, an improvement to pay and working conditions, including putting salaries back to pre-pandemic level, and aligning the collective bargaining agreement with Spanish labour legislation.

Since the summer strike action began, there have been 16 total days of walkouts, which have caused over 300 cancellations and a 3,455 delays at Ryanair’s Spanish base airports.