IATA discourages strikes in Spain

first_imgThe International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged AENA, the Spanish air navigation service provider, and the Spanish air traffic controllers to avoid strike action at all costs. Spain’s air traffic controllers have been urged by IATA’s Director General and CEO, Giovanni Bisignani, to accept AENA’s offer to enter into an arbitration process. “This is not the time for strikes. Arbitration is a fair, open and balanced means to settle the differences between AENA and the air traffic controllers. And it would avoid debilitating disruption to Spain’s economy,” he said. Mr Bisignani said that with 20 percent unemployment, Spain could not afford to be a spectator in the post-global financial crisis environment: “The economy is weak and it can ill afford the devastating effects of an air traffic control strike on Spanish business, especially tourism.” The recent ash crisis that closed much of Europe’s air space cost airlines $1.8 billion, and is estimated to have cost the economy over $5 billion, he noted. “Even the threat of a strike is seeing people changing plans to avoid Spanish destinations, airports and airspace. That’s lost money for the economy and puts Spanish jobs at risk. Agreeing to arbitration would remove the threat of a strike and restore passenger confidence.” After much deliberation, Europe seems to be making headway on key elements of the Single European Sky. Uniting Europe’s airspace is a critical factor in its success. The annual benefits are expected to include savings of over EUR 5 billion in costs, reduction of delays by millions of minutes, and reductions in CO2 emissions of 16 million tonnes. The standstill between AENA and the Spanish air traffic controllers comes as Spain prepares to benefit from the Single European Sky.“AENA too must change to ensure that Spain has cost-efficient air connectivity to power its economy. The burden of this change includes the controllers,” Bisignani said. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Clast_img read more