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Groundbreaking agreement between pilots from Iberia, British Airways, Vueling, and Aer Lingus to create the first inter-union alliance

IAG Company Councils Sepla
  • The alliance brings together pilots from the Spanish, British and Irish unions Sepla, BALPA, and IALPA
  • This collaboration marks a milestone in international union representation, seeking to improve the working conditions and strategic future of IAG and its pilots

Madrid, May 2, 2024.- The first international and inter-union alliance in IAG has been signed by the heads of the company councils of the Spanish Airline Pilots’ Union (Sepla) for Iberia and Vueling, together with their counterparts from the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) in British Airways and the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA) in Aer Lingus. This signing, carried out at Sepla’s headquarters, aims to strengthen the defense and bolster the improvement of the working conditions of all pilots within the multinational group.

“The models of companies and corporate groups have changed in aviation,” stated Juan Polo, the Chief Delegate of Sepla in Iberia. “Pilots must adapt to this new reality”, he added. For Polo, “this pioneering international alliance is the pilots’ response to address labour challenges in a truly globalized sector.” “By sharing resources, experiences and strategies, we will work to achieve a fairer and more equitable work environment for our pilots in any country and company of the group. This will foster a group sentiment that will support the growth and expansion of IAG,” adds the chief delegate of Sepla in Iberia.

David Rodríguez, the Chief Delegate of Sepla in Vueling, highlighted the importance of international cooperation: “Aviation is global and by addressing our challenges jointly with our British and Irish colleagues, we will be able to more effectively influence IAG’s decisions.”

This international and inter-union alliance plans to work closely with the management of IAG to develop policies that will strengthen IAG’s position as a leader in the aviation industry, allowing it to attract and retain talent.

The union leaders of Sepla, BALPA, and IALPA have expressed their commitment to working together in order to turn IAG into “the top employment choice, where every pilot wants to work,” as Juan Polo stated, “promoting a culture of excellence, safety and well-being.”

The BALPA General Secretary, Amy Leversidge, highlighted: “We know there is strength in unity and being able to come together across borders will ensure the collective voice of all the groups’ pilots is heard and we are able to exert greater influence on IAG’s decisions.”

Mark Tighe, IALPA President, said: “This agreement will have a positive effect on the careers of IAG’s pilots as the co-operation between the pilot unions grows stronger.”

“We are at a turning point in the history of aviation, where collaboration among pilots is more important than ever,” commented Óscar Sanguino, Sepla President. “Through this alliance, we are laying the foundations for a future where pilots have an active voice in shaping their industry.”

About Sepla

Founded in 1965, the Spanish Airline Pilots’ Union (Sepla) is an independent institution that represents nearly 7,500 pilots from all airline companies based in Spain, as well as helicopter pilots, aerial work, and UAS pilots. Its main objective is to protect and defend the working, professional, and social environment, the well-being of the pilot collective, as well as flight safety.