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The Traveller's Magazine
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With just a month left to go before that long-awaited spring holiday arrives, you might already be planning your itinerary or still deciding where you’d like to go. For those of you leaning towards an Easter holiday in Spain, be prepared. Spanish airport workers plan to strike, which will inevitably disrupt the travel plans of millions.

AENA and the Spanish airport worker’s unions have now reached a preliminary deal, thus calling off all planning strike days. Earlier this week, reaching an agreement seemed out of the picture but as of now, March 17th, 2011, the 22 days of strikes that would have disrupted millions of passengers have been called off.

As of now, 22 days of strike are proposed between Easter weekend and the summer holidays. Airline companies like Ryanair are protesting, pushing the EU to take action to prevent the travel chaos that happened this time last year. The strikes, should they go as planned, will disrupt millions of passengers connecting and travelling to/from Spain this season, starting April 20th, 2011.

Workers have chosen dates in May, June, July and August to strike should their dispute with Aena, the state-owned firm that runs all of the country’s airports, remain unsolved. Aena plans to sell off up to 49% of the company to private investors which would privatise both Barcelona and Madrid’s main airports, effectively impacting job numbers and working conditions. Both Ryanair and BMIBaby made public statements this week urging the two groups to resolve their differences before the holidays arrive and millions of travellers are stranded.

Should the workers go ahead with their pending strikes, it is estimated a low cost airline like Ryanair will have to cancel 300 flights, effecting the plans of around 57,000 passengers over a single weekend. Spain welcomes more than 44 million tourists a year, a whopping 15 million of them come from the UK.

Are you planning a trip to Spain this Easter?

Img: Mikelo, Flickr cc.

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12 responses to “Easter Holidays: Spanish airport workers plan to strike

  1. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and
    now each time a

    comment is added I get several emails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove

    people from that service? Appreciate it!

  2. I think you're right Michael. It seems an annual event that airport/transit workers strike in Spain. The nation does lose a lot of, if you can put it this way, “loyal customers” when their tourism industry and transportation industries become unreliable and lose their reputations. Thanks for the comment!

  3. My family of 4 is due to fly to Mallorca on 3rd July, and even if the flights are not cancelled I will certainly not be booking a holiday to Spain in the forseeable future. Even a percentage of the 15 million will be missed by the Spanish economy.

  4. Flights to Ibiza will likely be affected. Currently these are the planned dates for strikes in May: 2nd, 14th, 15th, 19th and 20th.
    Recent talks between the two groups failed to resolve anything so it looks like the Easter strikes will go ahead.

  5. Me and my family holiday in spain four times a year. We have booked to travel to Tenerrife on he 24th April for a relaxing break over Easter.

    Should this not happen seven of those fifteen million passengers (28 annual passengers) will never holiday in Spain again.

    I hope other families will take the same Actions as these people should think themselves lucky they still have jobs.

  6. Yes, Weeksc is right. The first strike days are planned as follows:

    April 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th and April 30th, 2011

    As for further dates, they are merely planned and are not yet confirmed. It mostly depends on whether AENA and the Spanish workers can reach an agreement after the first round of strike days or not.

    Are you planning on heading to Spain in April?

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