Iberia’s (Madrid) pilots impacted the company yesterday with its second day of strikes this month. As a result 118 flights were cancelled, but all passengers eventually reached their destinations by rerouting or rescheduling.
Iberia Pilots, under the SEPLA union, have called for two more days of strikes next month, on January 9 and 11, demanding that the airline ceases its plans for creating a new “Low Salary, not Low Cost airline”, called Iberia Express.
Last week, Iberia advertised for A320 type rated pilots, ICAO Level 4 language proficiency and recent flight time, but no other requirements where specified. The company claims that it has received more than 1500 applications.
Two Vueling Airlines Airbus A320s have entered the Iberia hangars in order to be repainted onto the Iberia Express livery. Tthe company may start looking for Vueling pilots to fly the new IB Express routes.
British Airways pilots, represented by the BALPA union, visited Madrid on Wednesday to show their support to their IAG colleagues and to inform the striking IB pilots about the way BA pilots will help, as they see this IB Express company as a threat to their contracts, by outsourcing their European flights to this new company, or to newly-acquired BMI. Finally, reportedly the BA pilots told the IB pilots, that Willy Walsh had stated that he can resist all of the strikes by the IB pilots, thanks to the Spanish legislation, which mandates minimum services to be provided by the airlines.
According to the unions, BALPA will soon be joining SEPLA in its efforts against the outsourcing of the IAGs jobs and routes.
Copyright Photo: Ariel Shocron.
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