Iberia Says Pilots Have Called Off Strikes

March 13, 2012

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Pilots at Spanish airline Iberia have called off a series of strikes intended to protest against the start-up of a low-cost airline, a spokeswoman for the airline said on Tuesday.

"They (the pilots) have accepted the proposal to have a mediator," the spokeswoman told reporters. Pilots' union Sepla was not available to comment.

Pilots who work for the airline, part of International Airlines Group, had announced a calendar of 24 days of strikes between March 16 and May 28.

The pilots are concerned thousands of jobs will go after the start of low-cost airline Iberia Express, due to launch on March 25, that will operate routes in Spain and Europe.

Since December, Iberia pilots have already carried out 12 days of strikes and were joined in their protests from February 13 by cabin crew union Stavla.

Strikes so far have caused Iberia to cancel about 1,400 flights at a cost of EUR€36 million (USD$47 million).