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The Spanish airline Iberia is to cut four and a half thousand jobs – a quarter of its workforce. Its parent company, International Airlines Group, says the aim is to save the company which is “struggling for survival”.

A deadline has been fixed for the end of January to agree a restructuring plan with the unions – otherwise, warns the company, even more drastic cuts will be implemented.

Iberia’s director general says the company is not competing in any of its markets, and its problems pre-date the Spanish or European crises. It’s losing 1.7 million euros a day, he adds.

On Wednesday IAG released its latest monthly passenger figures, which showed that numbers had risen at British Airways compared to the same period last year – whereas Iberia had lost customers. Traffic was down by 3.7 per cent.

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