It’s official. On 8 December Iberia announced the suspension of its direct flight from Madrid to Santo Domingo from April. Other cancellations included its flight to Havana. The routes are being cut in an attempt to reduce costs.
“The routes that we are leaving are those that have shown the greatest losses and we have no chance of making them profitable in the short term. When Iberia is competitive again, we will look into the possibility of re-opening them,” said Iberia’s Chief Executive Rafael Sanchez-Lozano. The news came after it was revealed that the airline would reduce its 20,000 workforce by 4,500. The airline has asked employees who retain their jobs to take pay cuts, which are up to 47% for its pilots.
The trouble for passengers has already begun. Unions at the airline have called six days of strikes over the company’s new cost-cutting plans. The action has been confirmed to begin on 14 December affecting high season vacation travel.
The Madrid to Santo Domingo route is also served by Air Europa. With the suspension of the Iberia flight, travelers are less likely to see the fare deals offered on the route now that Air Europa is left without competition. Travelers to Madrid may also opt for the Air France and Air Caraibes connections via Paris.