A Finnair aircraft pictured at Helsinki Airport on 6 May 2014.Finnair is set to outsource cabin crew services on a total of 20 long-haul and short-haul routes over the next two years as part of its effort to slash costs by 200 million euros. This year, the airline is to outsource cabin crew services on one to three routes.

Altogether, the changes are estimated to translate to the reductions of 540 positions.

Finnair and the Finnish Cabin Crew Union (SLSY) discussed alternative means to create the necessary savings until as late as Sunday, but the airline rejected the terms and conditions tabled by the SLSY.

“We offered them a cost-cutting package of 12 million euros, but they didn't seem interested. Twenty minutes after the negotiations, the employer published a statement on the outsourcing, raising suspicions that the matter had been decided in advance,” says Thelma Åkers, the chairperson at SLSY.

“It's very confusing. Employers don't usually say no to 12 million euros of free money.”

Ville Iho, the chief operating officer at Finnair, states in the bulletin that the proposal tabled by the SLSY was insufficient. “Unfortunately, this is too far from the savings that Finnair requires. We cannot continue with our current cost structure, which is why we need to make instant, permanent changes to it,” he explains.

The objective of the airline is to slash its spending on cabin crew personnel by 18 million euros.

In addition, Finnair is currently in talks with its pilots over additional savings of 17 million euros. The sides agreed to introduce a new wage structure as a first step toward a settlement earlier this month but are scheduled to continue the negotiations until September.

Tuomo Väliaho – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva