Finnair outsources cabin operations to Asians

Finnair Airbus A340 landing in Hong Kong. Photo: Aero Icarus @ Flickr
Finnair Airbus A340 landing in Hong Kong. Photo: Aero Icarus @ Flickr

After three years of negotiations with Finnairs cabin personnel stalled this spring, Finnair has signed a contract with crew management company OSM Aviation, the company that also recruit cabin crew for Norwegian’s long haul flights. The Finnish Cabin Crew Union is disappointed.

The routes to Hong Kong and Singapore will be first with outsourced cabin crew. According to a press release from OSM Aviation the personnel for these routes will be recruited in Asia.

The future plan is to use outsourced crew on 20 long and short-haul routes. But according to COO of Finnair Ville Iho, the company is still keeping a door ajar for other crew management companies.

“We will continue discussions with other partner candidates as well. We seek also solutions that would enable jobs to be maintained in Finland,” he says.

Disappointed union

These actions are part of Finnair’s 2011 strategy to save EUR 200 million. Back then Finnair’s goal was to save EUR 18 million annually by cutting the wages of cabin personnel. The cabin crew did not appreciate the plan and in spring 2014 the negotiations ended without an agreement.

“We have done our utmost to find cost savings together with our personnel, but the long path of negotiations ended with no result,” COO of Finnair Ville Iho says.

Yle, Finland’s national public-broadcasting company, reports that The Finnish Cabin Crew Union (SLSY) had offered a EUR 12 million in annual savings.

“The employer had given us a target of lowering costs by 22 percent, which represented this 18 million. A few months ago, we made a last-minute offer that included 12 million in savings, but the management didn’t want to accept it. Instead they’ve reached this kind of solution,” SLSY chairwoman Thelma Åkers told Yle on Monday. She adds that a 22 percent cut in pay and benefits is an impossible scenario for employees in any profession.

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