Flights to and from Mallorca are being rescheduled. | Archive


With all indications pointing to a record season, the tourism industry in the Balearics is nevertheless concerned about the threat of strikes in the aviation sector.

On Sunday, there is a 24-hour strike by air-traffic controllers, handling staff and cabin crews in Italy. On Tuesday, a general strike in France in protest at pension reforms will be supported by air-traffic controllers, some flights already having been cancelled at seven French airports.

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Eurocontrol has notified airlines that there will be traffic restrictions due to industrial action at the control centres in Milan, Rome, Bordeaux, Marseille and Paris. There is a rescheduling of many flights to the three airports in the Balearics as a consequence.

While these are strikes that only affect two days, the worry is that more will follow over the summer. To give an idea of disruption caused by air-traffic control stoppages in France, Eurocontrol has reported on the impact of a total of 34 days of protest between March 1 and April 9. Apart from France, these affected Spain in particular as well as the UK and Germany. Eurocontrol says that there was disruption to 237,000 flights. "By comparison, the damage was much greater than that caused by the airspace closures in Europe as a result of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption in April 2010 which led to the disruption of around 100,000 flights."

Meanwhile, the Sepla pilots union in Spain has announced an indefinite daily strike by pilots with Iberia Regional Air Nostrum. There has been action by pilots on weekdays since the end of February. It will now be extended to the weekends as well.