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Ryanair, BA and EasyJet flights hit by Spanish strike chaos

A 24-hour general strike by Spanish workers will cause widespread travel disruption today.

Budget airline Ryanair scrapped most of its flights to Spain and all of its internal ones in the country, while easyJet cancelled around half its Spanish flights.

British Airways also warned of delays and changes to its Spanish schedule due to the industrial action, which finishes at midnight tonight.

EasyJet said it had written some days ago to passengers planning on flying to Spain, offering them the opportunity to change their travel plans.

Ryanair, which last week was forced to axe 250 flights due to strike action by French air traffic controllers, called on EU leaders to act against those disrupting flights.

A BA spokesman said: "We will be doing all we can to minimise any disruption as a result of the general strike in Spain.

"We are advising passengers to check before they leave for the airport as there will be changes to our schedule and potential delays.

"If customers don't wish to fly to or from Spain during the strike, even if their flight is still planned to operate, then they can also rebook to a later date free of charge.

"We will also be putting on larger aircraft to maximise the number of customers we can carry. We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused by industrial action which is beyond our control."

An easyJet spokeswoman said: "All airlines operating to and from Spain will suffer disruption. We therefore strongly advise all passengers to check the status at of their flight at before travelling to the airport.

"In order to minimise disruption for our passengers, we contacted those booked to travel to and from Spain on the date of the strike with the opportunity to change their flight to an alternative date within five days, free of charge, before any cancellations were made.

"While the circumstances are outside of the airline's control, easyJet apologises for any inconvenience caused and would like to reassure passengers that we are doing everything possible to minimise the disruption."

Monarch Airlines said all Spanish flights were likely to incur delays adding that "it may be necessary to cancel some flights at short notice".

The disruption will also affect Spanish islands such as Majorca, Ibiza and the Canary Islands.

British Airways cancelled a number of flights to and from Spain today. BA and other carriers also had to axe some services to and from Brussels because of separate industrial action in Belgium.

Flights to Barcelona, Madrid and Malaga were among the early-morning services BA had to cancel.

Ryanair, which had to scrap dozens of Spanish services, was also hit by the Belgian strike, with the Irish airline having to axe a number of services to and from Charleroi near Brussels.

Meanwhile, BA said today it has signed an agreement to start a transatlantic joint business with giant US carrier American Airlines and Spanish airline Iberia which is worth a combined total of around £4.4 billion in annual revenues.

Approved by the EU and the US, the deal allows the three airlines to co-operate commercially on flights between the EU, Switzerland and Norway and the US, Mexico and Canada.

The benefits from the joint business will be shared between the airlines irrespective of which carrier takes the booking.

BA said the joint business will launch in October and provide customers with greater access to discounted fares, more convenient connections and better access to the airlines' global network.

BA's planned merger with Iberia is set to go ahead soon.

Belfast Telegraph


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