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Iberia hit by pilot strike action

16 February 2012 09:10

Passengers booked to fly with Iberia face further disruption with more planned strikes this month

Passengers booked to fly with Iberia face further disruption with more planned strikes this month

Spanish airline Iberia has once again been affected by an ongoing dispute between company management and pilots.

Iberia said it recently had to cancel 121 of 323 scheduled flights after pilots and other ground and air staff went on strike over the breakaway launch of a budget brand, Iberia Express.

Around 10,000 passengers were affected by the industrial action, and many of them were either placed on other flights or refunded.

The most recent action was the eighth one-day strike since December and there remains four more stoppages planned for 17, 20, 24 and 29 February.

Holidaymakers are advised to check flight details before beginning their journey to ensure that disruption at the airport does not affect their holiday.

Iberia, which merged with British Airways to form the International Airlines Group in January 2011, plans to launch Iberia Express on 25 March. The budget airline will offer short and medium-haul flights to European destinations.

The dispute centres on fears among pilots and unions over how the budget offshoot will affect working conditions.

Martin Rothwell, Managing Partner at Rothwell & Towler, said: "The situation with ongoing and repeated strikes really highlights the need for travel insurance and the benefits of buying it as soon as you have booked your trip.

"Policyholders are covered against travel delay and cancellation/abandonment under their insurance for any planned strike dates so long as the insurance was purchased prior to the strikes being announced.

"We would advocate buying annual travel insurance so travellers can benefit from cover for any holidays as soon as they have been booked rather than leaving it to the last minute - if you insure after the strikes have been announced you won't be covered because it is no longer an unforeseen event."