More than 300 flights canceled due to strike at airports in Portugal

Published July 19, 2021, 6:42 AM

by Xinhua

LISBON – The strike of employees of Groundforce, a ground-handling company, caused the cancellation of 327 flights on Sunday in Portugal, according to the official source from ANA, a company which manages the Portugal Airports.

Of the 511 arrivals and departures scheduled for Sunday, 301 were canceled at Lisbon airport and 26 other flights were canceled at the Porto airport.

“Due to the strike of the handling service,” said ANA in a statement, “We appeal to passengers with canceled flights not to go to Lisbon airport and seek information through other channels, digital and telephone.” Only low-cost airlines that use Terminal 2 at Lisbon airport maintained their regular operation because they are served by other handling companies.

Groundforce’s strike began on Saturday with the cancellation of 260 flights at the two main Portuguese airports on the day. Another stoppage was scheduled between July 29 and Aug. 2.

The strike was called by the Union of Airport Handling Technicians (STHA) as a protest against the “unsustainable instability, regarding the timely payment of wages and other pecuniary components” that Groundforce workers have faced since Feb. 2021.

Groundforce is 50.1 percent owned by the Pasogal Group and 49.9 percent by the TAP group, which in 2020 became controlled by the Portuguese state.

Groundforce accused TAP of a debt of 12 million euros (14.17 million U.S. dollars) for services already provided to the latter, but TAP said that it has no arrears to Groundforce.