Finnair has cancelled roughly one-third of its flights on Friday, after the Finnish Aviation Union (IAU) and Service Sector Employers (Palta) failed on Thursday to resolve their dispute over the terms and conditions of employment adopted by Airpro, a provider of airport services, on 1 February, 2017.
“We have to cancel approximately 100 flights, which is about one-third of our flights on Friday,” says Jaakko Schildt, the chief operating officer at Finnair.
The cancellations will apply to all domestic flights, to a large share of continental flights and to one long-haul flight scheduled for departure during the work stoppage staged by ground handling and security control staff – between 3pm and 7pm on Friday, 10 March, 2017. All affected customers will be informed of the cancellations by e-mail or text message, according to a press release from Finnair.
A complete list of the cancellations along with further information about the effects of the ongoing labour dispute is available on the website of the state-owned airline.
Finnair says it will also change the departure times of some flights in order to ensure they are not affected by the industrial action.
“The cancellations unfortunately disrupt the travel plans of thousands of Finnair customers. We are extremely sorry about the trouble and concern this is causing to our customers and are doing our best to find suitable re-routings for customers in this situation,” states Schildt.
“We ask our customers for patience, as contacting thousands of customers and finding suitable re-routing for them unfortunately takes time.”
The national carrier urges all customers to prepare for delays in services at Helsinki Airport on Friday. Customers are also encouraged to travel only with hand baggage due to the expected, considerable delays in baggage handling services.
In addition, the in-flight services of flights operated during the industrial action will be limited, with the exception of long-haul flights, according to Finnair.
Finavia, a state-owned airport operator, reminds that a strike warning has also been issued for 3–9am on 14 March, 3–7pm on 17 March, 2–6pm on 22 March, 2–6pm on 23 March and 2–6pm on 24 March. No estimates of the effects of the possible strikes on air traffic have yet been released, it adds in a press release.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva