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Iberia cancels a third of flights after pilots' walkout

Iberia cancels a third of flights after pilots' walkout
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Some 10,000 passengers with the Spanish airline Iberia have had their travel plans disrupted by a one-day pilots’ strike – the second this month.

More than a third of today’s flights – mostly domestic and around Europe – have been cancelled.

The pilots fear Iberia’s planned new budget carrier will result in lower pay and job losses.

“It’s not fair,” said one young woman at Madrid-Barajas airport, after her connection was cancelled. “I’ve arrived after an 11 hour flight from Montevideo with a little girl. Let them strike, but they shouldn’t get offended when we complain – they always get what they want at our expense.”

“They have to strike sometimes, but why me?” asked a middle-aged Englishman. “I have sympathy for them, I have sympathy for me too… and it’s put me in a lot of difficulty now.”

Iberia, which denies it plans to cut pilots’ jobs, says alternative journeys have been found for all passengers.

It wants to divert planes from loss-making European routes to its new subsidiary Iberia Express to compete with low-cost airlines.

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