Finnair has announced that it will continue to operate holiday flights, despite a strike by the company’s own cabin crews. As of Saturday, the only cancellation was a flight from Oulu to Phuket, Thailand.
Finnish airline Finnair said 119 of its flights, some 60 percent of the total, had been cancelled Saturday, as talks resumed in a bid to end a five-day strike by cabin crew.
Finnair spokeswoman Hanna-Kaisa Nurmi said a total of 10,500 passengers had been affected by the cancellations, mainly of long-haul flights but also some European and internal services.
But she added that management and the cabin crew’s union had resumed negotiations for the first time since the strike began on Tuesday.
Finnish unions have pledged to support the strike by taking measures set to paralyse the company completely from Tuesday unless Finnair reaches a deal with the cabin crew.
These include halting fuel deliveries for Finnair planes, an overtime ban on ground handling and a refusal to handle international mail at Helsinki, while train drivers will stop running extra trains to make up for the lack of flights.
The cabin crew say Finnair is trying to undermine the system of days off that employees get to compensate for the difficulties of long-haul flights.
Finnair’s chief Mika Vehvilaenen said last week that the union was stubbornly trying to hold on to outdated practices.
He also warned that unless the company could make significant cost-cutting measures and agree on a favourable labour contract, it would look into outsourcing operations and jobs to countries with cheaper labour.
Finnair also said it expected an anticipated full-year operating profit to turn into a loss because of the strike, which has forced the cancellation of more than 900 flights and affected more than 46,700 passengers, according to an AFP tally.