PILOTS at Iberia Airlines are to carry out one-day strikes on December 18 and 29 over plans to create a budget version of the Spanish carrier.

Pilots’ union SEPLA says the new low-cost airline, Iberia Express, will mean reduced pay and worse working conditions.

It will create 500 new jobs with four new planes when it launches next April, and it is hoped it will recuperate some of the shorter routes lost to rivals Ryanair and easyJet.

Iberia has urged its pilots to call off the Christmastime protest, labelling it ‘unfair, inopportune and unjustified’.

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