SUR / Europa Press
Tuesday, 2 January 2024, 11:27
Spain's national flag carrier airline Iberia has cancelled a total of 444 flights at its associated companies ahead of this week's planned strikes by ground handling staff for the busy New Year and Three Kings period.
The flight cancellations will impact 45,641 passengers across the country who have already purchased their tickets, with the strikes called by Spain's two main worker's unions, the UGT and CCOO, happening on 5, 6, 7 and 8 January, coinciding with the Epiphany holiday and the return of thousands of people to work. Some 270 Iberia flights will be scrapped, as well as 64 Iberia Express flights and 110 Air Nostrum flights.
Malaga Airport is set to be affected by the strikes, with eight flight connections cancelled in the coming days, such as flight IB3865 between Malaga and Madrid and IB3866, in the opposite direction, scheduled for 5, 6, 7 and 8 January.
The airline is offering customers the possibility of changing their flight dates or requesting a refund so they can rebook or find alternative routes.
Iberia's ground service workers, such as baggage handlers, at Spanish commercial airports operated by state-controlled Aena, are protesting against contracts signed with new providers in September. Aena hired new contractors for services which were previously provided by Iberia at many airports, angering unions even though the new suppliers committed to retaining workers and their working conditions.
More than 45,600 passengers affected
Iberia is looking for alternatives for the more than 45,600 passengers affected by the cancellations. According to the airline "in the next few days" passengers will be informed of possibilities to rebook other flights.
Regarding Iberia flights, the carrier plans to operate 836 flights, 76% of the total of 1,106 scheduled flights. The flights scheduled to still operate are mainly long-haul flights. Of Iberia's 270 flight cancellations, 51% will be domestic flights and 49% European flights. Iberia Express will operate 88% of its flights and Air Nostrum 72%.
Passengers who have booked cancelled flights for 5, 6, 7 or 8 January can request a change of date for their journey or a refund of the amount paid for their tickets from this Friday 5 January onwards. Those customers with flights not directly affected by the strike will be able to change the date of travel or request a voucher.
Flight changes can be made through the Iberia website, travel agencies where the ticket purchase was made or the customer service centre. Iberia asks all other passengers to check in for their flights in advance via the website and to arrive at airports earlier than usual in the event of future strikes.
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