TAP Air Portugal strike called off


TAP Air Portugal pilots have called off a planned six-day strike after agreeing a pay and productivity deal with the state-owned airline’s management.

The Civil Aviation Pilots’ Union announced the deal grants pilots a 1.8 percent pay hike, the same as the airline’s other staff, plus a share of any savings obtained through streamlining operations.

The flag carrier’s 800 pilots planned the strike between March 26-31. The airline said some 1,500 flights were scheduled for those days.

The government had warned the strike would hurt the country’s tourist industry, which is struggling to recover from a downturn last year.

TAP Air Portugal has a fleet of 51 Airbus planes and flies to 58 destinations in 27 countries in Europe, Africa and North and South America.

The carrier, which is part of the Star Alliance, posted a loss of euro285 million ($385 million) in 2008, largely due to higher fuel prices, after announcing a record profit of euro32.8 million ($44.3 million) the previous year. Figures for 2009 are not yet available.