Wednesday 29 March 2017

Holiday disruption as Spanish air traffic controllers confirm four day strike in June

June 8, 10, 12, 14 affected

An aircraft takes off from Madrid's Barajas Airport. Photo: PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images
An aircraft takes off from Madrid's Barajas Airport. Photo: PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images
MADRID, SPAIN - 2010: Passengers wait as Barajas airport is crippled by a sudden strike on December 3 in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Jasper Juinen/Getty Images
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Irish holidaymakers are facing major disruption after Spanish air traffic controllers confirmed strikes this June.

The partial strikes, announced for June 8, 10, 12 and 14, will be staged for two hours each morning and two hours each afternoon across the country.

Air traffic controllers, organised by the USCA union, are disputing penalties given by AENA, the country's airport operator, for a strike in 2010.

“The timing of this Spanish air traffic strike will be a real inconvenience to Irish holidaymakers at what is the beginning of the summer holiday season," said Pat Dawson, CEO of the Irish Travel Agents' Association (ITAA).

Spain has consistently been the number one holiday destination for the Irish public, with over 1.3 million visits last year alone.

“All of our member travel agents will work closely with their leisure customers to minimise inconvenience by keeping them up to date with delays and cancellations as well as assisting them with rebooking flights and changing travel plans," Dawson added.

spain strike 2010.jpg
Stranded passengers at Madrid's Barajas Airport in 2010

The ITAA recommends that consumers who are concerned about the strike affecting their travel plans maintain contact with their travel agent.

Ryanair has called on Spanish authorities to prevent any strike action taking place.

"We plan to operate as normal," said Robin Kiely, the airline's Head of Communications."We will monitor the situation and will advise customers of any impact, should this proposed industrial action proceed."

Before travel, it's always advisable to check your airline's website. You can view Aer Lingus flight disruption information here, and Ryanair's travel updates here.

In 2010, hundreds of thousands of passengers were stranded when Spanish air traffic controllers staged a wildcat strike resulting in a national 'state of alarm' on the eve of a bank holiday.

The strike lasted for 24 hours.

NB: This article has been updated as new information emerges.

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