Ryanair cabin crew in Spain begin latest round of strike action

Ryanair cabin crew in Spain begin their third round of summer strike action on Monday.

Ryanair cabin crew in Spain begin latest round of strike action
Ryanair is adding more routes to and from Vienna. Photo: Pau BARRENA/ AFP

Ryanair’s Spanish cabin crew begin their latest round of strike action on Monday, the third this summer, which threatens to last into the New Year after the Irish budget airline refused to negotiate a new collective agreement with staff.

With the latest industrial action set officially to last until January 7, 2023 USO and Sitcpla unions representing 1,600 workers from Ryanair, Crewlink and Workforce companies will begin 24-hour strike action from Monday to Thursday throughout the week moving forward.

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.

The strikes follow walkouts at the end of June that lasted throughout much of July and caused severe cancellations and delays at Ryanair’s operation bases in Spain, particularly at Barcelona’s El Prat airport and in Palma de Mallorca.

READ MORE: Ryanair reach deal with pilots in Spain but cabin crew strike continue

Predicted to last until January, the staff walkouts will affect travel to and from Spain during both the August and Christmas peak periods – times when traditionally there’s usually high levels of air traffic and demand.

Spain’s Ministry of Transport has set minimum services between 68 percent and 85 percent on domestic flights, and from 36 percent to 60 percent on international flights and domestic flights over five hours.

The strikes come at a time of European-wide travel chaos, with many of the major European airports suffering cancellations and delays due to high consumer travel demand following the COVID-19 pandemic, contractual disputes between anything and everything from cabin crew to pilots, and a shortage of staff after swathes of airport workers were let go as part of cost cutting drives during the pandemic.

During the first twelve days of the upcoming strike, Ryanair has, as of now, 4,998 flights scheduled at its Spanish airports. Ryanair flights operate, and moving forward could be delayed or cancelled, to and from Madrid, Malaga, Barcelona, Alicante, Seville, Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Girona, Santiago de Compostela and Ibiza.

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TRAVEL: Spain to scrap Covid temperature and visual checks 

From October 20th, non-EU travellers arriving in Spain will no longer undergo health checks by airport officials to assess if they have Covid-19, sources from Spanish airport manager Aena are quoted as saying. 

TRAVEL: Spain to scrap Covid temperature and visual checks 

Spanish health authorities are reportedly planning to remove another Covid-19 travel restriction: temperature and visual checks on international passengers arriving in Spain. 

This has been reported by Catalan newspaper El Periódico, although it has not yet been officially confirmed by the country’s Health Ministry. 

Since the start of the pandemic, passengers arriving by air or sea in Spain have had their temperature checked by airport authorities in order to assess if they had a high temperature, with either thermal cameras at security gates or infrared thermometers pointed at their foreheads.

Visual evaluations to see if passengers display clear signs of being infected with Covid-19 have also been carried out.

In theory, if the screening suggests passengers could well have Covid-19, they are required to carry out a Covid-19 test at the airport before being allowed to leave.

It is also possible that passengers are asked what non-EU country they were travelling from for officials to cross-check this against Spain’s list of high-risk countries.

It’s worth noting that as the pandemic has evolved, these tests at Spanish airports have become far less rigorous than they were initially.

Passengers arriving from another EU country have for some time now not gone through such screening, but those arriving from outside of the bloc technically are still subject to checks, even though there are no third countries on Spain’s Covid high-risk list anymore.

Additionally, it is no longer mandatory to self-isolate if you test positive for the coronavirus in Spain, even though limiting social interactions is advised.

According to Catalonia’s El Periódico, sources from Spain’s public airport manager Aena have confirmed that these health controls at airports and seaports across Spain will continue until Thursday October 20th 2022, when they will officially end.  

Spain’s Health Ministry did recently confirm that from September 20th it would stop asking international travellers to complete the Spth health control form to present upon arrival in Spain, but the state bulletin (BOE) did not put in writing the end of temperature and visual checks at airports and seaports. 

Some Spanish newspapers have reported that such checks also ended on September 20th, but this is not correct as the BOE refers to the cancellation of anex 8 and 9, which relate to the Spth health control form and cruiseship travel restrictions. 

As of September 27th 2022, the Aena website states: “It is no longer necessary to complete the health screening form to travel to Spain or to present the QR code at the destination airport. Passengers on flights from countries outside the European Union or the Schengen Area may be subjected to a health check that includes a visual check of their physical condition and temperature taking with non-contact thermometers or thermographic cameras.”

If the end of temperature and visual checks is confirmed by Spanish health authorities, the only two remaining Covid travel restrictions in Spain will be mask wearing on planes and other means of transport as well as proof of vaccination, testing or recovery from non-EU tourist arrivals.

READ MORE: Do you still need Covid-19 documents to travel to Spain?