Iberia A320. By Rob Finlayson

Iberia (IB) said itrebooked 80% of the passengers who held reservations on flights canceled because of a pilot strike scheduled for Dec. 18.

IB pilots, represented by the SEPLA union, earlier this month announced two one-day strikes Dec. 18 and Dec. 29 to protest the company's plans to create Iberia Express (ATW Daily News, Dec. 9).

The airline had to cancel 91 flights for Dec. 18, almost a third of its flight schedule. A Spanish government special decree on minimum services means that the majority of flights will operate.

All IB flights to/from the Canary and Balearic Islands are protected by the decree on minimum services and therefore operating as scheduled. The decree also protects 50% of flights between Spain and European cities, domestic flights longer than 500 km., and 25% of domestic flights shorter than 500 km.

Flights to/from Africa will not be affected and only 17% of its long-haul flights will be canceled, IB said.

Flights operated by independent regional franchise operator Air Nostrum and the Barcelona-based LCC Vueling will not be affected becausetheir pilots will not take part in the strike action. 

Flight cancellations on Dec. 29 will be made public once the day’s operations have been restructured, IB said.