THE SEPLA pilots union has reached a deal with Spanish airline Air Europa that will avoid any fresh strikes in the short term, after three series of stoppages were staged this year between May 1 and July 2, causing the cancellation of more than 300 flights.
An internal document reported by the Spanish press from Sepla states that the union considers the airline to have satisfied the majority of its demands for the signing of a new collective agreement.
These include a substantial improvement in conditions that is aimed at recovering income lost during the pandemic, as well as better-quality accommodation and food when pilots are flying long-haul routes.
Sources close to the negotiations told newspaper El Pais that salaries would be raised by 4% this year, and then 3% during the next two consecutive years.
Air Europa, whose finances were already in a precarious situation before the industrial action, has also committed to withdrawing a lawsuit it filed at Spain’s national High Court in which it accused the unions of staging illegal and abusive strikes. The legal action was demanding nearly €30 million of damages.
Air Europa is Spain’s third-largest airline after Iberia and Vueling. It is awaiting authorisation from Brussels for its sale to Iberia. It must also pay back a €475 million rescue package it received during the Covid-19 pandemic and a €140 million loan that it received from the state ICO credit institute.