Spain’s Easyjet pilots walked out on Friday, calling for the conditions they enjoyed before the coronavirus pandemic to be restored, two weeks after a strike by cabin crew at the low-cost airline resulted in an agreement.
Arriving at the height of the summer tourist season, the new Easyjet stops will add to the difficulties of the sector.
Budget rival Ryanair’s cabin crew have been carrying out 24-hour walkouts since June, which are expected to continue until January 2023, unions have said.
Easyjet pilots are organizing a first three-day strike from Friday at the airports of Barcelona, Malaga and the Mediterranean islands of Palma de Mallorca and Menorca, the SEPLA union said.
Two more three-day walkouts are scheduled for later in August.
“This is the only possible alternative for the pilots’ representatives, after more than six months of negotiations, during which the company rejected all the proposals made,” said the union.
The airline on Friday canceled eight flights, most from Barcelona, Spain’s second-busiest airport.
“During the worst months of the pandemic, we have agreed to lower our wages to guarantee not only jobs, but the survival of the company itself in Spain,” the union said.
Now, however, the company “refuses to reclaim working conditions.
“We’re not asking for anything we didn’t have two years ago,” a union spokesman said.
In late July, EasyJet said it suffered a significant financial hit due to industry-wide disruptions including staff shortages, but still reduced its quarterly losses as demand picked up.
Days later, EasyJet cabin crew ended their strike, after reaching an agreement with management to raise wages by 22% over three years.