Business

Iberia pilots' strike grounds flights

Iberia planes at an airport
Image caption Iberia says the new airline will have 40 planes

Spain's Iberia has cancelled more than a third of its flights as pilots hold a one-day strike over plans for a new low-cost airline.

They want to stop managers employing pilots at lower rates of pay at Iberia Express, which will launch in April.

The airline said it had scrapped 118 domestic and international flights.

But it said it had found seats on other Iberia flights or with other carriers for all of the 10,000 passengers affected by the strike.

It is the second walk-out this month, following a strike on 18 December.

International Airlines Group (IAG), which owns Iberia, hopes to allocate 40 planes from its current fleet to Iberia Express.

However, pilots argue that salaries at the new carrier will be too low, and fear job losses with Iberia hiring new staff at lower salaries.

The airline will handle short and medium-range flights from Madrid, where Iberia has been facing increasing competition from other low-cost carriers and high-speed trains.

The IAG group also owns British Airways.

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