Saturday December 02, 2023

Cabin crew strike forces Finnair to cancel 100 flights

Published : 20 Nov 2022, 23:46

  DF Report
File Photo: Finavia.

National flag carrier Finnair cancelled about 100 flights scheduled to be operated from Helsinki Airport on Sunday and Monday due to a strike enforced by its cabin crew, said Finnair in a press release on Sunday.

The Finnish Transport Workers' Union AKT announced the strike at Helsinki Airport from 3:00 pm on Sunday to 3:00 pm on Monday protesting against the authority’s move to cut up to 450 jobs of the cabin crew.

Flight cancellations and rerouting of customers began on Saturday and continued on Sunday, said Finnair.

The strike, however, did not affect flights operated by Norra, nor flights whose cabin service is provided by Finnair's partners, such as flights to Singapore and India, or flights operated by other airlines’ aircraft and crew, for example to Barcelona and Madrid.

"We are deeply sorry for the concern and inconvenience this strike is causing our customers, and do our best to reroute our customers as soon as possible," said Jaakko Schildt, Finnair's Chief Operating Officer.

"It is sad that the labour union has chosen the path of an illegal strike instead of negotiations. Throughout the autumn we have discussed savings possibilities with the unions, but unfortunately, we have not been able to achieve a result with cabin crew. We still hope to find solutions together," Schildt added.

Finnair's traffic will return to normal on Monday afternoon, but the strike may still impact individual flights after Monday.

Return flights for long-haul flights cancelled on Sunday and Monday will not be flown, and there may be delays and cancellations on individual flights, the airline added.

Earlier on November 16, Finnair has taken an initiative to cut up to 450 jobs of cabin crew by the end of next year.

The authority will start the change negotiations on November 23 with its cabin crew in Finland to discuss its plans to subcontract inflight service on routes to/from Thailand and the US to partners.

The plan is a part of the efforts to restore Finnair’s profitability by reducing unit costs and strengthening unit revenues.

Earlier in October, Finnair held negotiations to reduce about 200 jobs globally including 120 in Finland.

The negotiations concern about 770 employees working in executive, manager and expert roles but do not concern crew or other operative employees.