The airline has regretted the “radicalization of the strike after Sepla has not accepted arbitration”


The pilots of the Air Nostrum airline began a daily indefinite strike on Tuesday, extending the usual stoppage of two weekly days — Monday and Friday — that had been taking place since February 27. The Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (Mitma) has set the minimum services at 90% for flights to the islands and up to 65% for peninsular flights.

The workers have chosen this Tuesday, June 6, to start the strike with the aim of demanding their labor rights. The Sepla pilots union assures that the “inactivity” of the airline in the negotiations of the collective agreement “has pushed it to take this difficult step.”

In a statement, it criticizes that “business management has refused to seek a solution to the labor conflict, rejecting the legitimate labor and salary demands of the workers” during the last seven months.

The union assures that the “obstructive attitude” of the airline has resulted in a “minimum programming” of meetings between the company and the workers. In addition, it has denounced that “the abusive imposition” of the minimum services by the central government has led to a “distortion of the right to strike, by causing it to not display any effect.”

“This application of minimum services, unprecedented in most countries in Europe, favors the company, which has no interest in resolving the conflict. In this way, the Ministry of Transport favors business interests and harms workers and passengers generating greater uncertainty and chronifying a labor conflict that would have to be resolved more quickly”, he explained, before recalling that the National Court Prosecutor’s Office “has agreed” with the pilots in challenging the ministerial resolution by appreciating that “violates the right to strike.”

For its part, Air Nostrum explained that during the meeting held on May 26 at SIMA, the company offered the Sepla union delegation external arbitration to try to put an end to the conflict, which the union has rejected.

The company regrets the refusal since it understands that mediation “is a good alternative to seek an agreement that ends with some stoppages that are causing serious harm to passengers,” the airline added.

In addition, he has detailed that in the recent meeting at SIMA the company reiterated its offer to the Sepla union section in which an accumulated salary increase is offered in the next three years of 13% consolidated and a further 3% non-consolidated based on to objectives for the second pilots, which in total could reach 16%.

The airline has also tabled a 10% bound salary increase for commanders with 3% unbound (13% total).

“These figures are in the upper band of what is being negotiated in most of the country’s collective agreements, and exceeds what the unions and employers recently approved (4% in 2023, 3% in 2024 and 3% in 2025 ) and what was agreed in the recent agreement signed with the office group”, defended Air Nostrum.

Air Nostrum has affirmed that the salary increase proposed by Sepla “would mortgage the present and future viability of the airline” and that the company “cannot fail to comply with the payment plan for the ICO credits and the repayment of the loan to SEPI”.

It should be remembered that the airline received a participatory loan of 111 million from SEPI due to the situation generated by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, which was added to other loans of 140 million to the ICO.

The Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (Mitma) has set the minimum services at 90% for flights to the islands and up to 65% for peninsular flights.

In this way, flights from or to non-peninsular territories and routes under public service obligations must relocate 90% of the passengers who had planned to fly, taking into account the “irreplaceable nature” of the air mode for the mobility of the territories not peninsular.

Likewise, the same protection is granted on those routes subject to public service obligations due to the special need to guarantee connectivity in said territories, as indicated by the Ministry in a statement.

On the other hand, in peninsular domestic flights whose travel time on public transport is greater than five hours and international flights, the relocation of 65% of the passengers who had planned to fly on protected flights must be allowed.

In the case of domestic peninsular flights whose travel time by public transport is less than five hours, the minimum services establish guaranteeing the relocation of 40% of the passengers.

And 100% of those dedicated to emergency work are always protected, such as ambulance services, fire fighting, organ transport for the National Transplant System, surveillance, civil protection and rescue, etc.

The criterion for determining minimum services is based on establishing a percentage of flights to protect with respect to the total number of scheduled flights, in each of the affected airports, except in assessed cases, such as flights dedicated to emergency work, in which 100% protection is established.

The percentage of flights to be protected is calculated using, together with the number of passengers to be relocated, the load factor of the company’s flights, specified for each period in which the strike is called.

On the other hand, and for the purposes of considering intermodal substitution, it is considered that the plane cannot be efficiently replaced by public land transport when the distance to be traveled is greater than 500 kilometers, which translates into a travel time more than five hours.

The Ministry has introduced in this resolution a specific section that explains the evolution of the resolutions of minimum services “in accordance with different pronouncements of different judicial bodies”.

Thus, detailed protection is established for each airport affected by the strike as opposed to the previous procedure, which established average protection for all affected airports.

Regarding domestic flights to or from non-peninsular territories, compared to the previously applied 100% protection, the relocation of 90% of passengers is determined.

And in transport services of universal postal mail and perishable goods – among which are considered the transport of medicines and medical supplies, live animals and expatriation and movement of coffins -, no protection will be applied in the strikes that are carried out in short time slots.

In addition, flights that are not subject to protection are determined, such as those that originate and end at airports outside Spanish territory. The resolution does not authorize the use of certain practices such as the leasing of aircraft with crew or joint operations, which could limit the right to strike of the conveners.