Baggage delays and flight cancellations at Gran Canaria Airport in the last 24 hours

Baggage delays and flight cancellations at Gran Canaria Airport in the last 24 hours

The Gran Canaria airport is grappling with a potential crisis in luggage delivery that may continue throughout the Christmas holidays, following a clash between unions and Iberia over aircraft ground services.

The dispute reached a critical point last night (Friday) when the UGT and CC OO unions refused to continue negotiations with Iberia, reigniting the call for a strike among baggage handlers during the festive period from January 5th to January 8th.

This development is seen as a covert strike in the airline sector, a demonstration of force aimed at showcasing the potential hardships passengers may face during the upcoming busy travel days in January. Some passengers experienced delays of up to an hour and a half in collecting their checked luggage upon arrival last night, raising concerns about the adverse impact on the destination's image during the peak season.

Flights delays and cancellations this Saturday:

Compounding the situation are flight delays and cancellations today (Saturday) due to adverse weather conditions, including rain and wind, affecting operations across the archipelago this morning and at lunchtime.

The unrest happened after Iberia lost the handling service at eight major airports in Spain, including Gran Canaria, Tenerife South, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Málaga, Alicante, Ibiza, and Bilbao.

Iberia claims to have made an ambitious offer to strengthen workers' rights, guaranteeing the V Convention of the sector "for life." The offer includes maintaining the salary based on the last 12 months, annual working hours, the number of holiday days, seniority, type of contract, salary review, as well as acquired rights over airline tickets and pension plans.

However, unions rejected the proposal and refused to continue talks with Iberia to explore alternative solutions. The company suggested a hybrid model owned by an IAG group company that would handle services for all IAG airlines at the affected airports. This proposal was dismissed by the unions.

Following the unions' rejection, Iberia withdrew its proposals, leaving subrogation to the winning companies in the Aena competition as the only viable solution. The airline pledged to facilitate the subrogation process while emphasizing the significant impact 'auto handling' would have on its financial accounts. Iberia calls for the cancellation of the strike and urges the unions to "return to the path of responsibility."

The situation remains tense, with potential repercussions on Christmas travel plans for many passengers.