Portuguese ground crews are underpaid and take advantage of the opportunity to push demands on one of the busiest travel days of the year.
About 60 flights were canceled at Lisbon airport on Sunday, the final day of a strike by workers since Friday that has further disrupted summer travel at Portugal’s main airports.
Employees at shipping company Portway want better pay and career advancement while on vacation. ANA’s website showed that 31 arrivals and 28 departures were canceled on Sunday at Lisbon, Portugal’s busiest airport.
Pedro Figueiredo, spokesman for the National Union of Civil Aviation Workers (SINTAC), told Reuters that about 90 percent of Portway ramp workers at Lisbon and Porto airports were on strike for three days. Told.
SINTAC expects 70 to 80 flights to Lisbon to be canceled on Sunday and 30 to 40 flights to be canceled at Porto airport.
ANA has not indicated any flight cancellations in Porto, Faro, a tourist-dependent region of the Algarve, or Funchal, Madeira.
“In the coming days, our union will assess the outcome of this strike and may adopt a news format struggle,” Figueiredo said.
A handling worker assists the airline with luggage and pushes the plane onto the tarmac.
This summer, ground staff at many airports protested across Europe demanding higher wages to ease the pain of rampant inflation. This was encouraged by skyrocketing air travel demand and staff shortages after most COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.
Meanwhile, airlines are grappling with skyrocketing fuel prices and the closure of airspace linked to the war in Ukraine.
The strike took place on one of the busiest weekends of the year, with foreigners and Portuguese tourists still traveling during the summer holidays.
Portway, which is owned by French group Vinci, said an “irresponsible” strike would jeopardize Portugal’s tourism sector, which accounted for almost 15% of gross domestic product before the COVID-19 pandemic. (Sergio Goncalves) (reported by, edited by Catherine Evans)
This article was written by Sergio Goncalves of Reuters and is legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. For all licensing questions, [email protected].