Sunday, February 19, 2012
Feb. 19, 1985, Spanish national carrier Iberia Airlines’ flight 610 from Madrid bound for Bilbao crashes killing all 148 people on board. The Boeing 727 aircraft strikes a television antenna positioned on top of fog-shrouded Mt. Oiz in Basque county, northern Spain and loses its left wing before crashing. The crash is blamed on the pilot misreading warnings from the Ground Proximity Warning System causing the plane to fly below a safe altitude. At the time, Iberia Airlines is suffering tremendous financial hardship with a $100 million loss reported in 1984.
Last Friday, pilots, flight attendants and ground crew of Iberia Airlines announced the second in a series of five strikes this month. The labor strikes are to protest of the airline’s decision to from a low-cost subsidiary called Iberia Express. According to the pilots on strike, the decision to remove 40 airplanes from Iberia Airlines to reallocate them to the new Iberia Express jeopardizes 5,000 jobs. In 2010, Iberia merged with British Airways and American Airlines to form the London-based International Airlines Group, although the three carriers still operate under separate brands.