International flights cancelled as Easyjet’s Spain pilots strike again

Fourteen international flights were cancelled Friday as EasyJet’s Spanish pilots began a new three-day work stoppage calling for the reinstatement of conditions they enjoyed before the pandemic, union officials said.

easyjet pilot strike spain
EasyJet's pilot strike began just two weeks after the airline's cabin crew went on strike, resulting in a deal. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

Coming at the height of the summer tourist season, the new EasyJet stoppages only add problems to a sector struggling with rolling strikes by cabin crew at budget rival Ryanair that began in June and will continue until January.

Six of the EasyJet cancelations affected flights flying into or out of Barcelona, while the other eight involved arrivals and departures from Palma de Mallorca in the Balearic Isles, the SEPLA union said in an update at 1130 GMT.

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“These are international flights to or from Geneva, Milan, Paris, London or Basel,” the union said.

EasyJet pilots began their first three-day strike on August 12th, prompting the cancellation of 36 flights in and out of Barcelona, Malaga and the Balearic Islands.

A third strike is scheduled to take place from August 27th 29th.

The strike began just two weeks after the airline’s cabin crew went on strike, resulting in a deal.

The pilots are demanding the restoration of conditions they enjoyed before the pandemic and the resumption of talks for a new collective agreement.

During the pandemic they had agreed to a pay cut to ensure “not only our jobs but the survival of the company itself in Spain,” the union explained on August 12th, saying EasyJet had refused to restore their pre-COVID working conditions.

The rolling strike by Ryanair staff has so far had a limited impact, involving more delays than flight cancelations.

Cabin crew at Iberia Express, the low-cost arm of Spain’s Iberia national carrier, are also expected to stage a 10-day strike from August 28 to September 6, the USO union has said.

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Spain has third most powerful passport in the world

Those with Spanish citizenship are in luck because their passports are the third most powerful in the world, meaning they can travel to many different countries without the need for a visa.

Spain has third most powerful passport in the world

If you want to go on a last-minute break, it’s really only possible to countries that don’t require you to apply for a visa beforehand or issue you with a visa upon arrival. 

The Henley Passport Index is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and each year it reveals the number of destinations that passport holders from around the world can access without a prior visa.

The index includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations and offers all kinds of information on global mobility, ultimately revealing which passports are the most powerful. 

Each country is scored on the total number of destinations that a holder of its passport can access without a visa. For each travel destination, if a visa is not required, they receive a score of one. This also applies if holders are able to obtain a visa on arrival, visitor permit or electronic travel authorisation (ETA) upon entry.

The rankings for 2023 show that Spain, along with Germany, is in joint third place, meaning that Spanish passport holders can visit a total of 191 countries without needing a visa.

READ ALSO: Why Spain is second favourite country for Americans to move to

In joint first place are Japan and Singapore whose passport holders can visit a total of 193 countries without requiring a visa.

They are closely followed by South Korea in second place, whose passport holders can visit a total of 192 countries.

After Spain and Germany, there are several European countries on the list. Those from Finland, Italy and Luxembourg come in fourth place, able to visit 189 destinations, while those from Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden come in fifth place able to visit 188 destinations.

These are followed by passports from France, Ireland, Portugal and the United Kingdom in sixth place, allowing them to visit 188 countries without a visa.

According to the rankings, only 17 percent of countries give their passport holders access to more than 80 percent of the world without a visa.

The three countries with the least powerful passports are Afghanistan whose holders can only visit 27 countries without the need for a visa, Iraq with a score of 29 and Syria with a score of 30.