Xavier Ramis, the Balearics director-general of ports and airports, has highlighted a difference in industrial action procedures in Spain and France. "It is not logical," he says, that in Spain there must be ten days notice of a strike, while in France there can be strikes with hardly any notice. He was referring to the fact that there is further industrial action at the Marseille Control Centre this weekend.
Ramis has referred to the stance of the European Commission. "It is one thing to defend the right to strike and it is another to guarantee the right of people to travel without problems. Air transport is strategic. The European Union should consider this, because millions of passengers are affected." The European Commission stated last week that it does not question the right to strike and that it will not be taking any measure to limit or prevent air-traffic controllers' actions.
The director-general points to the high level of cooperation between airports in the Balearics, airlines and the civil aviation authority in ensuring smooth operations for the summer season. He is nevertheless concerned at the ongoing situation in France and the negative impact it might have from now until September.
Meanwhile, IAG and Ryanair say that they will take legal action against the French government because of the situation with the air-traffic controllers.
In Spain, the threat of industrial action at the Barcelona Control Centre remains, but it has been delayed to allow new officials at the development ministry to bed in following the change of government. A meeting with the ministry and Enaire, the government's air navigation company, is scheduled for this week.
* Ninety-nine Palma flights, arrivals and departures, were cancelled over the weekend.