Iberia Pilots To Vote On Strike Over New Airline

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Published: November 22, 2011

The pilots and crew of Spanish carrier Iberia will decide on November 30 whether to take strike action against the company’s plans to launch a low-cost airline with new, and cheaper, personnel, a union spokesman said.

Iberia, which operates under the International Airlines Group holding since merging with British Airways, wants to launch a new airline next year to compete with low-cost rivals such as Ryanair and easyJet.

“Our pilots support the strike, while among the crew some unions are in favour and others against,” a spokesman for the Sepla pilots union said on Tuesday.

The new airline, called Iberia Express, would feed connections to Iberia’s profitable long-haul routes. It would run 13 planes with a workforce of 500 people, but unions fear the plan threatens their own jobs and conditions.

Iberia currently has 1,500 pilots and nearly 5,000 cabin crew.

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