Madrid: Pilots from Spain’s second-largest airline on Friday formally called a strike that will hit the peak summer vacation period in protest against the creation of a low-cost spin-off. The pilots’ union SEPLA ordered the stoppage from 00:00 on July 30 to 23:59 on August 2, protesting against a work-load loss that favours the recently-created budget Air Europa Express offshoot, EFE news reported.
The protest highlights the transfer of equipment and staff to the “low cost” airline Aeronova. The union had on July 8 warned of its intention to call a four-day strike if no agreement was reached. The pilots have agreed to abide by the minimum services requirements stipulated by the Spanish government.
The new company’s aircrews were being hired outside Air Europa “with a low-cost mindset and without any union agreement”, SEPLA said. The outsourcing directly affects the career progression of Air Europa pilots, as it blocks the promotion to flight commander of between 50 to 70 pilots, a union statement has said.