The Spanish airline Iberia is to cut up to 2,500 more jobs. Facing stiff conpetition from low-cost carriers and beset by high fuel prices,the company is extending its restructuring plan by three years. That plan had been due to end this year.
Iberia has worked out a deal with its unions whereby redundancies will be voluntary and affect workers over 58 years of age who will receive early retirement benefits and severance packages. The airline is planning to cut the number of ground staff it has in Spain to 12,000 by 2007. That is a reduction in the size of the workforce by a third. There will also be fewer staff on the planes. As part of drastic cost-cutting measures following the September 11th terrorist attacks in the United States, Iberia cut 2,500 jobs in 2002 and 2003. The latest restructuring news helped the company’s shares to gain 1.5%. One of Europe’s most profitable airlines Iberia’s share are up around 11% this year and they gained 63% last year.