Portuguese American Journal

Travel Alert: New round of strikes will disrupt summer traveling – Portugal

Flights to and from Portugal airports will be disrupted again  in July and August when delays and cancelations are expected following air traffic controllers’ walkouts and strikes by TAP Air Portugal pilots.

According to the Portuguese Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) union, a series of partial strikes are planned for June 29 until July 3, with air traffic controllers expected to stop working for two/four-hour periods each day.

Similar stoppages in April and May caused hundreds of flights to be canceled and/or retimed.  Air traffic controllers are protesting against restructuring services and budget reductions, the union said.

TAP Air Portugal’s pilots have also announced they will not fly between July 5 and  8 and August 5 and 8 if the airline management does not meet their demands. They are protesting against disciplinary measures taken against some of their pilots and demanding de departure of several members of management.

According to SPAC, the airline pilots’ union, pilots are demanding that the Flight Operations director and the Chief Pilot are dismissed immediately and that all unjustified absences and sanctions imposed in the pilots arising from unilateral action by the company are cancelled.

State owned and managed, TAP Air Portugal is due to be privatized by the end of the year. The decision to strike was taken at a general meeting of SPAC last week.

Travelers are advised to contact their travel agents and/or airlines for further information before flying to or from Portugal during the periods affect by the strikes.

paj.cm/lusa/updated 6/27/12