Spanish controllers face charges of sedition under the Criminal Law Procedure of Air Navigation with prison sentences of up to eight years for hundreds of air traffic controllers who organised strike action which took place on 03-Dec-2010 and 04-Dec-2010 (Typically Spanish/Think Spain, 10/11-Dec-2010). The six air-traffic controllers summoned to give statements to the Public Prosecutor's office in Madrid on 10-Dec-2010 exercised their right to remain silent, maintaining that the military court is the only valid one in the circumstances. A total of 26 controllers have now been called to give statements regarding their decision to strike. The controllers’ called in sick in mass in defence of health and safety conditions as well as opposition to government plans to privatize 49% of Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea (AENA). Almost 90% of the controllers have exceeded the legal maximum of 1,670 hours of work a year. AENA has also opened disciplinary proceedings against 442 controllers. Deputy Prime Minister, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, commented that the decision to extent the 'State of Alarm' had not been taken yet, but if it is to be extended it has to be done and in place before 19-Dec-2010. CANSO condemned the strike action and expressed support for Aena. [more - CANSO]
Spanish controllers face charges of sedition over strike action
You may also be interested in the following articles...
AENA: Spain's airport operator must cut charges, but airline yields are already falling
After much delay, in late Jan-2017 the Spanish Council of Ministers approved the airport regulation document setting AENA's airport charges for the next five years. The headline numbers include a 2.2% annual decline in charges from 2017 to 2021, equivalent to an overall cut of 11% through the period.
The legal framework prevents tariff increases before 2025, but the outcome was in contrast with the Spanish airport group's own proposal to freeze charges. Strong traffic growth of 11% to an all time high level of 230 million passengers in 2016 may have influenced the regulator's decision.
In response, AENA has decided to remove an incentive mechanism which rewards airlines for traffic growth with airport charge discounts. The removal of discounts is estimated to offset the 11% reduction by one third.
In fact, this discount scheme has been quite effective in stimulating traffic growth in recent years. However, traffic growth in Spain was also boosted in 2016 by high airline capacity growth switched from other (risk) markets. Airline yield declines are probably noticeably heavier than AENA's regulated price reduction.
"Level": IAG's new long haul low cost brand to launch 4 routes from Barcelona, with more to come
On 17-Mar-2017, IAG announced the launch of its newest airline brand, 'Level', which it will use to operate the group's first long haul low cost flights from Jun-2017. The launch routes will be from Barcelona to Los Angeles, Oakland, Buenos Aires and Punta Cana. It will compete head to head with Norwegian on the Los Angeles and Oakland routes.
In Dec-2016, IAG had said that it had not yet decided whether to create a new brand or to operate its planned Barcelona long haul low cost routes under one of its existing brands British Airways, Iberia or even Aer Lingus. Vueling was ruled out, although its strength at Barcelona will provide connecting feed. IAG's solution is to create Level, a new airline brand, but to operate it initially with Iberia pilots and cabin crew.
IAG has also confirmed that Level will deploy two new 314 seat Airbus A330-200s (293 economy and 21 premium economy) and will create up to 250 jobs based in Barcelona. Level, IAG's first entirely new airline brand, will also look to expand to add flights from other European cities.