(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Workers at Spain's biggest airline, Iberia, on Monday started a five-day strike, with more than 1,220 flights to be cancelled until Friday.
About 235 Iberia flights - as well as those of related carriers Vueling, Air Nostrum and Iberia Express - were cancelled on Monday, the DPA reported. The government said the carriers were providing minimum services set out in the law.
Those make flights to the Balearic and Canary islands compulsory. At least half of all internatioanl flights must also be allowed to operate. Two other work stoppages, for five days each, will follow in March. Cabin crew and ground employees are protesting a decision by Iberia's owner, International Airlines Group, to cut about 3,800 jobs - nearly 20 per cent of the total - following a merger with British Airways in 2011.
The plan also includes wage cuts and a reduction of Iberia's network capacity by 15 per cent. Pilots were expected to join the strike from March 4 onwards.
The government says the strike will cost about 10 million euros (13 million dollars) daily. Tourism is a key sector bolstering the country's battered economy.