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Summer of strikes in Barcelona airport: will it affect you?

Learn the dates of the upcoming industrial action and the reasons behind it


19 July 2018 12:32 PM


ACN | Barcelona

If you’re travelling to Barcelona this summer, you should know that air traffic will be disrupted by several strikes expected during the high season, which will certainly affect thousands of travelers. Here’s a guide to the different strikes, their dates and the cause behind the conflict.

July 25-26: Ryanair cabin crew

Low-cost airline Ryanair has canceled some 400 flights in and out of airports in Spain due to a cabin crew strike called for July 25 and 26, which will also affect Portugal and Belgium.

Ryanair estimates that the two days of the strike will affect up to 600 flights around Europe, and that some 100,000 passengers will have their travel plans disrupted. Yet, the firm insists that the majority of its customers will not be affected.

What’s more, the company said that it has already contacted the customers that will be affected, offering them alternative flights, or the cost of their tickets returned.

The Spanish Workers’ Union (USO) expects turnout for the strike to be very high, due to the crews’ current working conditions: “75% of the workforce is hired through temp companies subject to Irish legislation, without a basic salary, earning only for flight hours, which causes tremendous job insecurity and instability.”

July 27-28 and August 3-4: Iberia ground crew

The ground crew of Iberia, Spain’s flag carrier airline, has called two strikes for July 27 and 28, and August 3 and 4. More than 2,000 workers are expected to join the industrial action, which might also affect the Catalan airline, Vueling.

A first meeting between the workers and the management, with the mediation of Catalonia’s Work Department, ended without reaching an agreement. A new meeting will take place on Thursday, with the positions of both sides still far apart.

Workers say there is still time to reach an agreement and call off the strikes. The reasons for the protest include an extension of working hours in order to attend Vueling’s passengers.

July 25-26: Barcelona taxis

The taxis in Barcelona and its surroundings will go on a 48-hour strike between Wednesday and Thursday, an action to protest against Spanish government measures that could lift the limit of licenses for car service apps such as Uber and Cabify.

The city council of Barcelona passed legislation to limit the number of licenses for car services apps to one for every 30 taxis. The Spanish government challenged the norm in court, which has temporarily been suspended. Yet, the Madrid executive opened the door to transferring competences over car service licenses to Spain's autonomous communities (including Catalonia).

Spain’s ground crew (canceled)

A strike set for July 31 by ground staff in airports all over Spain, including Barcelona, was called off on Friday. The planned stoppage was canceled after three days of intense talks between unions and the employers association representing airport companies. Some 60,000 ground crew working in airports all across Spain were called to join the industrial action.

High-speed train strikes (canceled)

Workers of Spain’s high-speed trains called five days of strikes: July 26 and 31, and August 1, 3, and 10. However, the UGT union announced that the action was canceled to avoid causing passengers trouble and to give the company’s new board more time, yet they also stress that the problem hasn’t been solved.


  • Travelers in Barcelona airport (by ACN)

  • Travelers in Barcelona airport (by ACN)