Air traffic controllers’ strike leaves 8,000 travelers stranded in Peru

On April 14, thousands of passengers were stranded at various airports in Peru due to a air traffic controllers strike approved by the Ministry of Labor and Employment Promotion. The delays were exacerbated by the increase in traffic linked to the Easter holidays.

The president of the Tourism Association of the Chamber of Commerce of Lima, Gabriela Fiorini, said the strike had affected more than 8,000 passengers a very important day for tourism in the country, leaving air carriers unable to operate flights.

“The Ministry of Labor decision did not take into account the enormous damage caused to people and families who had nothing to do with the problem, especially when it was the government itself which declared the tourism sector in a state of emergency,” Fiorini said. says RPP.

“The negative impact of a measure accepted by the Ministry of Labor and Employment Promotion is not only reflected in the number of stranded tourists or canceled flights, but also in the rapid deterioration of the image of the Peru abroad, which harms the work of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism itself and businessmen who take up the challenge of promoting tourism,” the tourism leader said.

The strike called by the United Union of Air Traffic Controllers (Sucta) of Peru has affected the operations of five airports in the cities of Arequipa, Ayacucho, Tacna, Trujillo and Cusco, causing cancellations and delays of 45 domestic flights to Cusco, Ayacucho, Trujillo, Arequipa and Tacna.

Travelers face delays at Jorge Chavez International Airport outside Lima, Peru on April 14. Image courtesy of @SoyMemesDelPeru via Twitter.

That same Thursday, the union reached an agreement with the Peruvian Corporation of Commercial Airports and Aviation Inc. (CORPAC) – a state-owned company that manages several airports in Peru – and the strike was lifted. SUCTA planned to protest until April 16.

In A declarationCORPAC declared having respected all the demands of the union, all related to the improvement of working conditions, better wages and the respect of the agreements signed previously.

The Minister of Transport and Communications, Nicolás Bustamante, considered that the Ministry of Labour, led by Betssy Chávez, should answer for having declared “admissible” the air traffic controllers’ strike.

Carlos Canales, president of Peru’s National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur), said losses from the strike could reach around 40 million soles.

“10 million soles were lost in air tickets alone and practically 30 million soles in tourist services that are contracted from the moment you arrive at your destination,” he said. says Channel N.

Fiorini says that “domestic tourists were expected to spend, on average, on these holidays, between S/.700 and S/. 800, an amount that includes transport, food and accommodation costs, with the possibility of visiting different cities and tourist attractions in the country.