Iberia to cut pilots' wages, increase work hours

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MADRID (AP) -- Spanish airline Iberia says it will cut pilots' wages by 20 percent and increase their working hours by 25 percent in a bid to save some euro62 million ($81 million) and improve competitiveness.

The measures announced Tuesday come as pilots are staging strikes every Monday and Friday between April 9 and July 20 to protest feared job losses among the company's 1,600 pilots following the creation of Iberia's new low-cost affiliate, Iberia Express.

Iberia, Lineas Aereas de Espana S.A., says the strikes, which are causing a cancellation of a third of the company's flights, cost the company some euro3 million ($4 million) each time.

It said the latest measures are aimed at helping the company deal with reduced demand, higher fuel prices and tough competition.