Air travel: 311 flights cancelled Friday in Portugal due to strike (update)


Friday’s strike is the third day of a five-day partial strike called by NAV, which operates air traffic services in Portugal. All airports – Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Azores and Madeira – will be affected

Economy What's New — 17 May 2012 by Blandina Costa
Air travel: 311 flights cancelled Friday in Portugal due to strike (update)

This Friday’s strikes in Portuguese airports will be affecting 311 flights, revealed news agency Lusa, reporting on figures made available by airport operator ANA.

Friday’s strike is the third day of a five-day partial strike (11, 17, 18, 24 and 25 May) called by NAV, the company that operates air traffic services in Portuguese airports, airport operator ANA told PDV, which is advising passengers to contact their airline companies, local representatives or travel agents to check the status of their flights. The strike extends to all staff, areas of operation and companies managed by NAV, including but not limited to air traffic controllers.

The strikes called for will be affecting 2 hours per shift between 7am-9am, 2pm-4pm and 9pm-11pm and some flights have been cancelled and others rescheduled.

All airports – Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Azores and Madeira – will be affected by the strike and flagship carrier TAP/Air Portugal will be cancelling 50 flights today, reported Lusa.

Easyjet, which opened its newest base in Lisbon last April, also announced it had cancelled some 30 flights and rescheduled several others to operate outside the strike periods, giving detailed information on its website. The low-cost airline is advising passengers travelling on all other flights operating to/from Portugal to check the Easyjet website for updated information before going to the airport.

Ryanair is also informing passengers on the status of the company’s flights during the strike days.

The Azorean airline company SATA told PDV this Thursday that seven SATA International flights will be affected by the strike (five will be delayed and two will see departure time brought forward) and that only one flight had been cancelled this morning between Ponta Delgada and Lisbon. On Friday, 11 flights will suffer changes and three will be cancelled (S4122, S4130 and S4125 with the passengers of the first two transferred to S45130 and the last one to S4127). As for domestic flights, operated by SATA Air Açores, 17 will be affected this Thursday with delays, but no flights will be cancelled. On Friday, 18 May, almost all flights will be rescheduled and one flight (SP671) will be cancelled.

The first day of this series of partial strikes, 11 May, saw the cancellation of some 300 flights.

Trade unions representing Portugal’s air traffic controllers announced the partial strikes to protest what they claim has been the government’s silence for more than one year regarding their grievances.

Luís Rosendo, on behalf of NAV‘s workers’ committee told PDV there is no reason to think the strikes scheduled until the end of the month will be called off.

Workers are complaining against the austerity measures taken by the government and the lack of a strategic plan for air traffic services. The workers are also demanding that the company and its workers are included in the international framework.

Last update: 18 May, 10.20pm

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