British airline easyJet has cancelled 350 flights arriving to or departing from Portugal due to a five-day cabin staff strike scheduled for later this month, the SNPVAC union of civil aviation flight personnel said late on Monday.
EasyJet cabin staff in Portugal, a popular summer holiday destination, called a strike from July 21 to 25 to demand better working conditions and higher wages to cope with the soaring cost of living. It will be SNPVAC’s third strike since the beginning of the year as the union and the company continue talks to reach a new labour agreement for 2023-2035.
SNPVAC said in a statement that easyJet, the biggest airline in the UK by number of passengers, had so far cancelled 350 flights to or from Lisbon, Porto and Faro.
That is the equivalent of 69% of all flights booked for that period. “We will not accept the company continues to perpetuate its regime of maximum profitability and minimum wages,” the union said, adding the strike “could have been avoided if the company wanted to”. EasyJet said in a statement that it would do all it could to mitigate the impact of the strike and that “all customers affected by cancellations are eligible for a refund or a free transfer to a new flight”.
It said it was “extremely disappointed” the SNPVAC was planning further strike action despite the company’s “willingness to pursue a constructive dialogue”. SNPVAC did not specify the salary increase it was seeking. EasyJet said earlier in July it would cancel 2% of its summer flights over air traffic control challenges, affecting the holiday plans of 180,000 customers.