But it is possible that pilots’ strike action could resume
Iberia Express, Iberia’s new low-cost subsidiary for short and medium-haul flights, has launched scheduled flights with four A320s operating from Madrid to four destinations in Spain. The launch of the new carrier comes despite angry protests from pilots and unions working on behalf of cabin crew, who fear for their salaries. And the problem with the pilots is not yet solved. Following twelve days of strikes since December against the launch of Iberia Express, 24 further days of strikes were called off after pilots agreed to new government-mediated talks. It is possible that strike action could resume.
“It is an absolutely necessary element of the group’s strategy,” Iberia CEO Rafael Sanchez-Lozano said. “It will allow short- and medium-haul operations that are currently not profitable to become profitable.”
Initial routes for Iberia Express are from Madrid to Palma de Majorca, Alicante, Malaga and Seville. During the spring and summer the network will expand to 17 destinations, with international routed likely to be Dublin, Naples, Mikonos, Amsterdam and Riga. Further domestic destinations will include Fuerteventura, Granada, Ibiza, Lanzarote, La Palma Minorca, Santiago de Compostela and Vigo. The aim is to operate 14 aircraft, all leased from Iberia, to over 20 destinations by the end of 2012.
ATW / Inquirer Business