Iberia pilots strike as 150 flights are cancelled

Iberia stands to lose millions through walk-outs

Protesting the recent launch of low-cost subsidiary Iberia Express, pilots of Spanish airline Iberia began the first of 30 days of industrial action this week, grounding 150 flights on Monday alone.

Pilots union SEPLA says 8,000 jobs will be lost as Iberia moves dozens of aircraft to the new budget airline, Reuters reported.

But Iberia and its parent company, International Airlines Group insist the move is the only way to make the loss-making unit profitable.  

According to Reuters, SEPLA is prepared to negotiate a solution to the conflict, based on a proposal aimed at saving the airline 90 million euros (US$117.6 million) a year. 

“That is triple the amount that the company has said Iberia Express would save a year,” said a spokeswoman for SEPLA, who also advised overhauling the salaries of Iberia directors.

“We are ready to negotiate with whoever, but the company hasn’t called us for 20 days.”

The strikes, scheduled for every Monday and Friday until July, will cost the carrier 3 million euros ($3.9 million) per day, Iberia estimates.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H
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