Iberia and SEPLA pilots agree to a new contract

Iberia (Madrid) and its pilots, represented by SEPLA, agreed to a new contract yesterday by a stunning 87 percent “yes” vote. The new contract allows the pilots to keep on flying after reaching the age of 60. Pilots will be able to fly 100 percent of the normal flying hours until age 65. The two parties also agreed that all IB-BA long haul flying out of Madrid will be flown by IB pilots, thus excluding Air Nostrum and Vueling/Clickair from flying long-haul. There will be no pay increase in the new contract but the company will pay a six percent premium for delayed salary payments (instead of 14 percent). Salaries have been frozen for the last five years. This new contract has been in negotiations for the past 11 years and it will pave the way for a possible IB-BA merger if the two parties can agree on a share value. This agreement will also permit IB to start taking deliveries of new Airbus A330s in 2011. A new order could also be announced at the Paris Air Show in July.