Friday, 9 June 2017

SPAIN: Ibiza Airport Rubbish Collectors Strike

A rubbish collection strike at Ibiza airport is becoming a health issue with travellers complaining about the 'intolerable smell', bins overflowing and heaps of plastic bottles, cans and food wrappers all over the floor in the waiting areas.

Workers who have downed tools are protesting over the fact they have not been paid for three months.

After not having earned a salary since January, they say they have been left in an extreme situation, unable to pay rent or mortgages, electricity and water bills, and with no money to buy food or even pay transport costs to get to work.

They have now been on strike whilst passengers do not blame them, their experience of travelling through Ibiza airport is extremely unpleasant.

As yet, the rubbish collection franchise firm has not commented on the situation.

An aircraft heading for Santander (Cantabria) last night had to return to base due to a 'technical fault', according to airport governing body AENA.

The Volotea flight took off from Sevilla's San Pablo terminal at 18.24 yesterday (Tuesday), but was forced to turn round and go back after half an hour in the air.

It was just under halfway to its destination, Seve Ballesteros Airport in the northern coastal region.

The nature of the mechanical issue has not been revealed, but the aircraft is said to have landed 'normally' at 18.55 in Sevilla with no damage or passenger issues.

It was expected travellers would board another aircraft later that evening if the fault was unable to be rectified quickly enough for them to continue their onward travel on the same plane.

Meanwhile hundreds of passengers were left stranded at Madrid's Barajas airport after a system failure suffered by British Airways which has ground planes.

Passengers worldwide were affected, and all flights were cancelled until 18.00 mainland Spain time in every country.

British Airways (BA), which is part of the Anglo-Spanish company IAG – encompassing Irish carrier Aer Lingus and Spanish airlines Iberia and Vueling – said a 'major IT fault' stopped all flights to and from Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

For Spain, this means long-haul flights in particular were affected, since BA is a major carrier from Barcelona and Madrid airports to destinations in, among other countries, India and Australia.

Passengers complained on social networks that they have not been able to make bookings or check in online via the BA mobile phone App, whilst others said the queues in Madrid's Adolfo Suárez-Barajas terminal were stretching back along the corridor.

Here, flights directly to, or via, London scheduled for 10.55 and 12.20 were delayed and did not take off until at least 18.20.

One passenger who was heading to Heathrow from Madrid on flight BA457 – the first of the morning, due to leave at 10.55 – for a connecting flight to the USA said passengers were still stuck on the plane at 13.30 since the company thought it would be able to solve the problem relatively quickly.

The traveller said many passengers, who needed to be in London that day during business hours, decided to abandon their trip and got off the plane.

And passengers on the 12.20 from Madrid to Heathrow were believed to still be on the plane at 15.15 on Saturday, May 27.

Iberia and Vueling flights contined to operate normally, although those arriving in Spain from Heathrow may have been affected by what IAG called 'a system outage'.