Iberia cancels 240 flights as strike hits

The second day of a strike called by pilots of the Spanish airline Iberia grounded another 240 flights amid the complaints and demands of affected passengers, according to EFE news wire. The greatest number of cancellations were for flights arriving or leaving Madrid’s Barajas Airport, the most important in Spain with some 1,300 flights scheduled daily.

For the moment no solution is in sight for the conflict that produced the strike set to last a week. The job action stems from pilots’ demands that their jobs and salaries continue to be guaranteed after the launch of the new, low-cost airline Catair, of which Iberia has a 20 percent share.

At the client service counters in Spain’s major airports travelers stand in long lines as they try to change their flights or seek compensation for the harm the interruption of their travel plans has caused them.

Demands that Iberia pay for costs originated by the cancellations are continuous, as are protests throughout the terminal like the one staged Monday by a group of Argentine passengers whose trip to Buenos Aires was grounded and who finally convinced the airline to pay for their hotel, as they explained Monday.

If the strike goes on for seven days as announced, it is estimated that some 1,600 flights will be cancelled inconveniencing about 200,000 passengers.