Iberia to cancel almost 1,300 flights in second five-day strikeSouce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 27/02/2013 8:53 am in World / no comments
MADRID, Feb. 26 — Spanish national airline Iberia and its subsidiaries Vueling, Iberia Express and Air Nostrum will cancel a total of 1,281 flights in the second five-day strike against planned spending cuts and staff reductions, it was confirmed Tuesday.
The second of three planned strikes will be held between March 4 and 8 as unions continue their protests against the loss of 3,807 jobs in the company.
Iberia will cancel 431 flights, Vueling 316, Air Nostrum 433 and Iberia Express 101, while the strike will also affect companies such as Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa, who contract ground services from the Spanish airline.
The Spanish Public Works Ministry has established minimum services for the duration of the strike with full services guaranteed to the Balearic and Canary Islands and the Spanish enclave of Melilla on the coast of north Africa.
There will be a 50 percent minimum service on international flights and those connecting Spanish cities over 500 kilometers apart and a 25 percent service on internal flights of less than 500 kilometers.
Iberia on Tuesday announced it intended to provide an 85 percent service on long haul flights, 62 percent on medium haul and 47 percent on internal flights.
This second strike will go ahead despite both sides in the conflict last week agreeing to the designation of an independent mediator in an attempt to find a solution to their quarrel. Public Works Minister Ana Pastor also said she was confident the strike could be resolved.
“I have asked both parties to reach an agreement. It is important Iberia is viable and that it recovers the position that it used to enjoy,” she added.
The restructuring plan was originally announced by Iberia’s parent company International Airline Group in November in response to the airline posting losses of 262 million euros (342 million U.S. Dollars) in the first nine months of 2012.
The first strike was held between February 18 and 22.