The Spanish Airline Pilots Union (SEPLA) has announced strike action for December 18 and 29, over plans for Iberia’s low-cost subsidiary Iberia Express.
SEPLA says that the creation of the low-cost carrier contravenes agreements made between the union and Iberia during the merger of the Spanish airlines with British Airways.
Iberia says it regrets “the inconvenience which [the strike] will cause to its passengers during the Christmas holiday season”, and is implementing a contingency plan to “soften the impact”.
The plans will be announced once the Spanish government confirms which services must operate under as minimum services, but Iberia said that during previous strike action it has operated all flights to and from the Canary and Balearic Islands, as well as “the great majority of intercontinental flights” and between 30 and 50 per cent of short and medium haul services.
The carrier also points out that flights operated by Air Nostrum and Vueling will not be affected by any industrial action.
Iberia called the potential strike action “unjustified”, saying that “The pay and working conditions of current Iberia employees will not be affected by the creation of Iberia Express”, and adding that “The decision to create Iberia Express has been taken at a corporate level with no negative impact on current cockpit crews, and indeed it will be to their benefit since it will enable the company to grow and prosper, adding 500 new jobs in its first year of operations”.
Report by Mark Caswell