More trouble and disruption are to come for easyJet before the summer season comes to a close as the carrier’s pilots based in Spain have opted to strike every weekend this August over pay.

Rife with discontent…

Pilots represented by the union Sindicato Español de Pilotos de Líneas Aéreas (SEPLA) have announced that strikes will take place over the majority of August. The first took place on 12 August and will run until today, 14 August. Two more weekends of strikes will follow between 19 August and 21st, and 27th and 29th.

Pilots have opted for civil action due to easyJet failing to restore their salaries to pre-pandemic levels. This is in light of the carrier looking to reach near 90% of what they achieved in 2019.

The low-cost carrier has already notified passengers that will be affected but the strikes will certainly have a huge impact on easyJet’s operations in Spain.

easyJet aircraft
easyJet is a Swiss low-cost carrier that’s almost certainly a household name. This year, the carrier has struggled with staff shortages, the heavy increase in demand, and strike action impacting their normal operations. | © REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

SEPLA not only demands the restoration of pay but drastic improvement of pilots’ conditionals equal to before the pandemic. They also wish for negotiations to resume for easyJet’s second collective labour agreement.

The initial agreement concluded last July when the two parties failed to come to an agreement.

SEPLA has made it clear that they don’t wish to disrupt travel for easyJet’s passengers, emphasising that strike action was a last resort that was deliberated thoroughly.

“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. However, having achieved the objective of reducing the pilots’ working conditions, easyJet announced an increase in the number of planes and pilots at its bases in Barcelona and Palma, and opened a completely new base in Málaga.”

easyJet
The carrier has three bases in the country – Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona El Prat International and Málaga International airports. | © portugalresident.com

An easyJet spokesperson spoke to Simple Flying. They said that passengers who will be affected by the strikes will be offered free alternative flights, lodging and food if required.

“We would like to apologise to all our customers for any inconvenience caused and are doing all possible to minimise any disruption as a result of the strike action, providing affected customers with free transfers to alternative flights or a refund as well as hotel accommodation and meals where required. We advise customers travelling to and from Barcelona, Malaga and Palma to check the status of their flights on our Flight Tracker page or manage their bookings using our disruption portal on our mobile app or website.”

A concerning pattern?

In July, a Spain-based cabin crew that works for easyJet called for strike action over three weekends. The airline and the union came to an agreement after the first two weekends, allowing the final strike to be called off.

And in June, easyJet cabin crew based in Italy protested over numerous grievances against the airline.

easyJet aircraft
Are the clouds gathering on the rest of easyJet’s summer season if they cannot solve the dispute with SEPLA? | © Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror

Have you booked to fly with easyJet during the strikes? Maybe you were affected by previous easyJet strikes elsewhere? Share your thoughts on this story in the comments below.

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