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First air traffic controllers' stoppage unfolds without serious delays

Source: El Pais - Mon 8th Jun 2015
First air traffic controllers' stoppage unfolds without serious delays

The first 2-hour stoppage in a series of partial strikes by Spanish air traffic controllers concluded at noon on Monday with flight punctuality of 98 to 100% and no cancellations, said Public Works Minister Ana Pastor.

This percentage refers to "most" flights at Spanish airports, she added.

Iberia said all its programmed flights departed from Spanish airports "completely normally" Sources at the Air Traffic Controllers Union (USCA), the body that called the four-day stoppage, told EFE news agency that the minimum service levels of 70% set by the government were being scrupulously observed.

Enaire, the public agency that manages air navigation in Spain, said 617 controllers out of the 955 normally on duty on a regular Monday morning were at their posts between 10am and 12 noon.

The airline Iberia said all its programmed flights departed from Spanish airports "completely normally."

The strikes could affect up to 5,300 flights, nearly a quarter of the total forecast for Spanish airspace over June 8, 10, 12 and 14.

The stoppages are scheduled to take place for two-hour periods during morning and afternoon shifts, from 10am to 12pm, and 6pm to 8pm.

USCA, which represents 90% of the country's controllers, has called the industrial action to protest the decision made by Enaire to suspend 61 controllers from Barcelona without pay for a month as punishment for their involvement in an unprecedented wildcat strike in December 2010 that completely shut down Spanish airspace.

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