Iberia to investigate cancellation of 38 flights

16th December 2008, Comments 0 comments

Media reports blame the cancellation of the Spanish flag carrier’s flights on a wildcat strike by pilots.

MADRID – Spanish flag carrier Iberia will probe the reasons for the cancellation Monday of 38 short and medium-haul flights which media reports have blamed on a wildcat strike by pilots, a spokeswoman said.

The flights to and from Madrid and Barcelona were mostly internal flights or to destinations in Europe, the spokeswoman told AFP.

Iberia, which is discussing a tie-up with British Airways, has been plagued by delays and cancellations in recent days following the breakdown in talks with pilots over a change to pilots' collective agreement.

Pilots' union Sepla denies a wildcat strike is underway as reported Monday by daily newspaper El Mundo and instead blames the flight disruption on a shortage of around 300 pilots.

"It is a premeditated action on the part of pilots to try to influence negotiations regarding the convention," El Mundo reported, citing an unidentified company source.

Iberia is carrying out a restructuring plan which reduces its internal and medium-haul flights, which face stiff competition from low-cost airlines, and boosts flights on its more profitable long-haul routes.

In November, the company which has a total workforce of about 17,000 employees said its third-quarter earnings plunged nearly 80 percent due to soaring fuel prices and weak demand.

[AFP / Expatica]

0 Comments To This Article