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Pilots at Spain’s Iberia Will Be Expected to do a Stint at British Airways’ New Gatwick Airline to Gain Captain Rank

Pilots at Spain’s Iberia Will Be Expected to do a Stint at British Airways’ New Gatwick Airline to Gain Captain Rank

a man in a plane cockpit

Pilots at Spain’s flag carrier Iberia may soon be expected to work for several years at a new low-cost subsidiary of British Airways as a way of gaining promotion because career progression at Iberia is at a standstill.

Iberia and British Airways are owned by the same parent company in Madrid but the airlines are run as separate businesses and pilots who take the offer would have to sign new contracts and potentially accept a massive but temporary pay cut.

an airplane on the tarmac

The offer will be open to Senior First Officers at Iberia who are desperate to become a Captain but have been held back because promotion within Iberia is stagnant.

British Airways set up a new short-haul subsidiary from Gatwick airport known as Euroflyer late last year. The airline is simply branded as British Airways to customers who should expect the same service as any other short-haul BA service but pilots and cabin crew are on new low-paid contracts.

The airline says the new low-cost contracts are essential to make its Gatwick operation competitive against the likes of EasyJet which dominates London’s second-largest and leisure orientated airport.

British Airways has, however, struggled to recruit enough staff to get Euroflyer going and has been ‘wet-leasing’ aircraft and crew from both Iberia and Spanish discounter Vueling to make up for the shortfall over the summer months.

Lower-paid pilot contracts were only approved after a vote by members of the BALPA pilots union. British Airways threatened to abandon Gatwick altogether if pilots didn’t accept the new terms and conditions.

Pilots hoping to join British Airways may soon be accepted to work for several years at Euroflyer because moving to the mainline business at Heathrow.

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