International Airlines Group (IAG), which owns British Airways and Iberia, has said that it might have to cut 4,500 jobs at Iberia as it is likely to report an operating loss during the year.
IAG, which was formed in 2011 following the merger of two airlines, has recorded a 25 per cent fall in operating profit during the third quarter mainly due to high costs of fuel and poor performance from its Spanish unit. The group's operating profit in the third quarter was 270 million euros, compared to 363 million euros recorded in the same quarter of the previous year.
IAG Chief Executive Willie Walsh said, "Iberia is in a fight for survival and we will transform it to reduce its cost base so it can grow profitably in the future."
Iberia has been struggling to perform in the recession-hit Spanish economy and its -cost carrier Iberia Express has been affected by labor disputes in the country. It is believed that the group is likely to report an operating loss for the whole year. It is likely to report a operating loss of about 120 million euros in 2012 following looses relating to its bmi subsidiary and exceptional items.