Low cost carrier Norwegian has secured an agreement with the Spanish pilots union days after negotiating a deal with long-haul flight crew in Italy.
The airline and Spanish pilots’ union SEPLA signed a comprehensive collective bargaining agreement yesterday.
The two-year deal “represents an important step forward in one of the company’s most important markets,” the airline said.
SEPLA members will now vote on the agreement. Norwegian signed a similar agreement for its long-haul crews based in Italy earlier in the week.
Spain is Norwegian’s second-largest market in passenger volume and the largest in number of staff.
With 33 aircraft based in Spain this summer, and more operating bases than in all the Nordic countries put together, Spain is a key market for Norwegian.
The airline runs eight year-round operating bases in Alicante, two in Barcelona, Gran Canaria, Madrid, Malaga, Palma, and Tenerife.
The carrier employs 2,190 staff in the country and last year carried 8.46 million passengers in Spain, an annual rise of 24%.
Bjørn Erik Barman-Jenssen, Norwegian Air Resources’ CEO, said: “The agreement will usher further growth from solid bases, providing Norwegian with predictability and stability, amid an ever-changing environment in one of Europe’s most competitive aviation markets; it will also consolidate improvements in the working conditions of our pilots based in Spain, and will offer them clear career paths within Norwegian”.
Martin Stork, chairman of the SEPLA Norwegian Company Council said: “We are very pleased that Norwegian recognises its pilots as a valuable, unique asset.
“We consider the crews to be an important resource for gaining a competitive advantage in the highly competitive airline industry.
“We are very pleased that Norwegian has gone the extra mile to invest in such an asset. This will allow both parties to continue to develop our relationship.
“For SEPLA and our members, this represents a milestone in our relationship with the company and we are confident about our shared future.“
Norwegian’s chief human resources officer Helga Bollmann Leknes said: “This agreement is very important for Norwegian as it lays the foundation for a continued fruitful relationship between our staff and management, which is crucial to the group’s future growth.”
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