19 Feb 2013

Airline strike in Spain

1:33 pm on 19 February 2013

Iberia airline strikers clashed with police at Madrid-Barajas airport in Spain on Monday as they began five days of industrial action against job cuts. Hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

However, after several charges outside Terminal Four, the police relented and the strikers poured into the terminal.

Iberia said it has scrapped 415 flights across Spain and Europe this week. However, the airline said it expected to operate 135 flights on Monday.

Cabin crew, ground staff and maintenance workers are on strike from Monday - Friday to protest plans to axe 3800 jobs. It is the first of a series of three strikes last five days.

The cuts were announced by International Airlines Group, which owns Iberia and British Airways.

Executives said the airline accumulated 850 million euros in losses between 2008 and September 2012.

The airline aims to cut its capacity by 15% this year, eliminate some loss-making routes to Latin America and trim its fleet by 25 aircraft.