Passengers stranded at Dutch airports as Transavia pilots strike

A Transavia aircraft in 2007VeyyWikimedia Commons

Transavia pilots are on strike until noon on Monday, resulting in around 30 Transavia flights being delayed or canceled - 18 from Schiphol, six from Rotterdam and six from Eindhoven Airport. Only departures are affected by the strike. Arrivals are still on schedule, reports.

The strike actually started at midnight, but the first affected flight was only scheduled to depart around 6:00 a.m. 

The Transavia pilots have been working without a collective bargaining agreement for around 14 months. Union VNV hopes this strike will push Tansavia into accepting the union's final offer, which includes a more stable duty roster for the pilots, a "modest wage increase", and Transavia contributing to an occupational disability regulation for the pilots. Many last minute changes to the roster makes it difficult for pilots to have a family life, the union said. And the pilots at Transavia's parent company KLM already has such an occupational disability regulation.

"If you look at the board and you see that all flights are canceled, that gives you pain in the stomach", Transavia CEO Mattijs ten Brink said to broadcaster NOS. "Then you think of all those 7 thousand passengers who had to travel today and then you think: this fight should not have been fought over their backs."

According to Ten Brink, the airline made several attempts to enter into a dialogue with VNV, but these were "fairly bluntly rejected". He added that he agrees that improvements can be made on pilots' timetables. "We have understanding for our pilots, it is a difficult profession. But I want to distance myself from texts that it would be a mess", the CEO said to NOS. "We publish our schedules neatly a few weeks in advance and nine out of ten are still executed as planned."