Brazil Air travel hit by pilots & aviation workers protests

January 23, 2015 02:29 AM
Brazil Air travel hit by pilots protests

BRASMLIA – Thousands of Brazilians suffered flight delays and cancellations on Thursday after pilots and aviation workers temporarily walked off the job at several major airports to press pay claims.

Passengers were delayed after unionized labor downed tools for an hour between six and seven am, peak time in a country where taking domestic flights around dawn is common. “The stoppage was a nationwide success,” said that the National Aviation Union (SNA), which is pushing for an average 8.5 per cent pay rise. Airlines are offering 6.3 per cent.

Infraero, the company that manages Brazil's airports, said around nine percent of flights were cancelled and some 20 per cent suffered delays with airports in Rio, business hub Sao Paulo and the capital Brasilia among those hit by the walkout. Pilots and ground staff joined the protest, which union leaders warned could spread unless airlines met their demands. With the continent-sized country having few train services, air travel is for most travelers the only long-distance means of transport available.

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