BOGOTA – Colombian airline Avianca said on Friday it had canceled 233 flights due to a strike by 702 pilots that began earlier this week and has affected 20,104 passengers.
In a statement, the carrier said that those canceled flights made up 47 percent of its operations in Colombia; it also added that 5,432 passengers had been booked on other flights.
The carrier said that since the strike began on Wednesday, it has operated 266 flights and transported 27,745 passengers.
Colombian aviation officials activated on Thursday a contingency plan that includes more personnel to attend to stranded passengers and extended hours at some airports to ensure people’s itineraries are not delayed.
Labor Minister Griselda Restrepo, for her part, said both the pilots and the company were working in good faith to reach an agreement, adding that progress was being made in the attempt to achieve a negotiated solution.
The union representing 702 pilots, more than half of Avianca’s total, began the strike on Wednesday.
The Colombian Association of Civil Aviators (ACDAC) said it was seeking greater security at airports, a salary increase for Avianca’s Colombian-based pilots so they match what Avianca pilots make in other countries and a reduction in working hours.
Avianca says the strike is costing the airline roughly $2 million a day.