10-day strike by Portuguese airline pilots grounds flights

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Pilots at Portugal's state-owned national airline have begun a 10-day strike, forcing flight cancellations as they press their demand to be given up to a 20 percent stake in the company when it is privatized later this year.

TAP Air Portugal said it expected up to 3,000 flights and 300,000 passengers to be affected by the walkout that started Friday, causing losses of at least 30 million euros ($33.7 million).

An arbitration court ordered pilots to provide about 30 flights a day.

The Civil Aviation Pilots' Union, which represents a majority of the flag carrier's more than 900 pilots, is also demanding long-service rewards for its members.

The airline recorded losses of 81 million euros last year and is more than 1 billion euros in debt.