Passengers travelling from and to Spain will be dealing with travel disruptions this month as the carrier’s cabin crew in Spain has called for repeated 24-hour strikes. The first strikes are likely to take place on the 10th and 13th of this month.
However, RyanAir has claimed that it will be operating as per schedule despite the strikes. This includes flights from and to Spain.
But members of the unions, Sitcpla and USO, whose members are the ones going on strike over working conditions and pay, have stated that it would be very difficult for the carrier to continue providing full services in the midst of the upcoming strikes.
This isn’t the first time RyanAir is having to face cabin crew strikes. The carrier had faced strikes in Spain even last year, which caused several hundreds of flights cancelled, operated by RyanAir.
Some Flights to Remain Operational
However, after reaching an agreement with the local labour authorities, the unions have now agreed to operate all flights between the Spanish islands and half the flights between the Spanish islands and the mainland.
However, only 25% of the long-haul (over 500 kms) flights to and from Spain will be operated.
RyanAir has issued a statement mentioning that it will continue to operate a full schedule of flights from and to Spain a day prior to the strike. In its statement, it thanked the Spanish Government’s Minimum Services Regulator and its cabin crew and pilots for their cooperation.
It requested passengers to check online as usual and arrive at the airport two hours before the departure time.
However, a spokesperson for Sitcpla, Mauricio Gabala, told the media that he wouldn’t be too hopeful for disruption-free operations. He added that passengers will, likely, experience a few problems.
Last month, the unions accused RyanAir of being immature for not agreeing to the increased pay and improved working condition demands. They claimed that around 1800 of RyanAir’s staff in Spain suffered poor working conditions because the company was not subject to Spanish labour laws.
The union also criticized the government for not holding RyanAir accountable and demanding the carrier to comply with local laws, especially when it profits from Spanish customers.
Last year, a similar strike by Spanish RyanAir staff led to 250 cancellations, with 30,000 passengers being affected as a resulting liability of flight delay compensation. The unions hailed the earlier strike as a success, but the carrier stated that disruptions were minimal, affecting only 8% of its operations.
The current strike comes at the heels of a recent survey in which RyanAir was voted as the “worst airline to travel by” for the 6th consecutive year. The budget carrier was given the lowest possible rating by respondents for cabin environment, seat comfort, boarding, food, beverages, etc.
Ironically, the carrier has actually grown in terms of adding new passengers. In the last 6 years alone, the carrier has seen its passenger numbers grow by 78%. However, some attribute the growth to its low-cost pricing strategy.