Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Iberia To Cancel 118 Flights On Dec 29 Due To Pilots' Strike

Iberia Lineas Aereas de Espana, the Spanish unit of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG.LN, IAG.MC), said Tuesday it plans to cancel 118, or 36%, of its flights on Dec. 29, the second of two days of planned strikes by the airline's pilots.
The Spanish airline had to cancel 91 flights on Sunday, or 32% of total flights scheduled for the day, as pilots went on the first of its two-day strike to protest the company's launch of a new budget airline with lower labor costs.
On Sunday, Iberia booked about 80% of disrupted passengers on other flights with Iberia or other airlines.
Iberia said that of total cancellations planned for Dec. 29, 10% would be for long-haul flights, 38% medium-haul, and 43% of domestic flights.
The Iberia section of Spanish pilot union SEPLA opposes the establishment of Iberia Express, set to take off in the spring, saying that the new carrier violates labor agreements by separating the operation of flights from the company without union approval.
The new low-cost carrier will operate part of Iberia's short- and medium-haul flight network, which has been facing heavy competition from other low-cost carriers and high-speed trains.
IAG, the third-largest airline group in Europe after Air France-KLM (AF.FR) and Deutsche Lufthansa (LHA.XE), was recently formed through the merger of British Airways and Iberia airlines.