More than 200 Iberia flights cancelled

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Iberia123 Reuters. A man looks at Iberia planes parked on the tarmac at Madrid's Barajas airport.

Madrid - The Spanish airline Iberia and related carriers cancelled 232 flights on Tuesday as a five-day strike by Iberia staff went into its second day.

The strike affected flights by Iberia, Air Nostrum, Vueling and Iberia Express.

A total of more than 1,220 flights are due to be called off until Friday. 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 70,000 passengers who will be affected by this week's strike have been placed on alternative flights or given their money back, Iberia said.

The airline said it was not aware of any significant incidents on Tuesday.

On Monday, striking employees clashed with police at Madrid airport. Five people were detained.

Iberia says it made losses of 850 million euros (1.1 billion dollars) between 2008 and September 2012, a situation which forced it to take “drastic measures.” - Sapa-dpa

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