Chile's airports to resume normal operations as strike ends

domingo 20 de diciembre de 2015 18:23 GYT

SANTIAGO Dec 20 (Reuters) - Chile's government and workers tied to the civil aviation authority came to an agreement Sunday evening, putting an end to a four-day strike that forced airlines to cancel hundreds of flights and left thousands of passengers stranded.

A spokesman for the Defense Ministry told Reuters an agreement had been reached but provided no further details.

LAN, Chile's flagship airline and part of LATAM Airlines , had said earlier on Sunday that domestically, it was only flying from Chile's capital Santiago to Punta Arenas, Temuco and Calama, affecting 80 percent of its flights.

Due to the high occupancy rates in the run-up to the Christmas holiday, "relocating affected passengers after the strike is over could take several days," LAN said.

The regional carrier's chief executive, Enrique Cueto, told local newspaper La Tercera, that the strike was likely to cost LAN between $10 million and $15 million.

The work stoppage was initially set to only last 48 hours.

In September, a 24-hour strike stranded thousands of travelers and created long lines at airports after a majority of workers affiliated with the DGAC, or civil aviation authority, went on strike to demand improved benefits and working conditions.

After two months of negotiations, DGAC workers, which includes air traffic controllers, said this week that they had rejected the government's proposal for a state subsidy to improve their pensions and went on strike again. (Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Diane Craft)