Bloomberg News

IAG’s Iberia Pilots Union Plans Strike Action for December

November 29, 2011

Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The pilots’ union of Spanish airline Iberia aims to strike in December to protest the company’s strategic plans including the creation of a lower-cost unit to boost margins for Spanish and European flights.

Sepla, as the union is known, will meet with the rest of the crew unions next week to set dates for the strike, according to a Sepla spokeswoman, who declined to be identified citing policy. The company’s plan to create the lower-cost unit Iberia Express doesn’t respect the current collective bargaining agreement, she said.

Iberia, working to pare expenses after merging with British Airways to create International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, said Oct. 6 it plans to transfer planes to Iberia Express in a bid to boost margins on flights in Spain and Europe.

Consuelo Arias, a spokeswoman for Iberia in Madrid, said the airline met with pilots’ unions yesterday and has yet to be notified of any planned strike.

The Iberia Express unit will start flying next year with four Airbus SAS A320 jets from Iberia. The fleet will be built up to 13 narrow-body planes by the end of 2012.

--With assistance from Steven Rothwell in London. Editors: Robert Valpuesta, Jerrold Colten.

To contact the reporters on this story: Manuel Baigorri in Madrid at mbaigorri@bloomberg.net; Charles Penty at cpenty@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at acullen8@bloomberg.net


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