Iberia Express, Vueling to cancel over 400 flights due to strike

MADRID Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:26am EST

An Iberia passenger aircraft flying between clouds prepares to land at Madrid's Barajas Airport February 9, 2013. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

An Iberia passenger aircraft flying between clouds prepares to land at Madrid's Barajas Airport February 9, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Sergio Perez

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling and budget airline Iberia Express said on Friday they would have to cancel more than 400 flights next week due to a strike over job cuts at flag carrier Iberia.

Iberia workers will go on strike between February 18 and February 22, grounding 415 of the 1,060 flights the airline had scheduled over the five days, as workers protest management plans to dismiss more than 3,000 workers.

Iberia Express, a subsidiary of Iberia, said it had cancelled 100 out of 350 flights scheduled for those days because its ground services - performed by Iberia staff - would be disrupted.

Vueling said 354 of its 1,200 flights scheduled between next Monday and Friday would not take off for the same reason.

The International Airline Group (ICAG.L), comprised of loss-making Iberia and British Airways, launched a bid in November for the 54.15 percent of Vueling it does not already own.

(Reporting by Robert Hetz; Writing by Clare Kane; Editing by Julien Toyer and Jane Merriman)