Finnair Cancels 550 Flights Amidst Finland Strikes

By Ivan PetrenkoJan 30, 2024 07:27 AMNews
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Finnair plane at the Helsinki Airport
Finnair plane at the Helsinki Airport. Source: unsplash

Finnair, Finland's flag carrier, has recently announced the cancellation of approximately 550 flights scheduled for February 1 and 2, 2024, due to widespread strikes across Finland. This industrial action, initiated by several trade unions, is expected to have a significant impact on the country's air travel and connectivity.

Major Disruption in Finnair's Operations

Originally, when the strikes were announced on January 19, Finnair had not specified the extent of the impact. However, a recent statement from the airline on January 29 has clarified the considerable scale of disruption. Finnair typically operates around 280 flights daily, indicating that the strikes will affect the majority of their schedule. Despite the challenges, the airline is striving to maintain a few flights during the strike period and is actively communicating with passengers whose flights are not impacted.

For those whose flights are cancelled, Finnair has begun removing affected flights from its system, starting January 30. The airline is offering alternative travel solutions, including rerouting long-haul passengers via different routes to bypass Helsinki Airport (HEL).

Wider Impact on Finland's Air Travel

Finavia, Finland's state-owned airport operator, has echoed the concerns about disrupted connectivity. Out of its 20 airports, seven will be completely closed, and 11 others, including HEL, Finnair's main hub, will experience significant schedule disruptions. Notably, three airports, Halli Airport (KEV), Utti Air Base (UTI), and Maarianhamina Airport (MHQ), will remain operational, with MHQ even hosting eight flights by Finnair and Amapola Flyg during the strike period.

Underlying Causes of the Strike

The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) and the Finnish Confederation of Professionals (STTK) have indicated that the strikes are a response to the government's proposed policy measures, which they believe will adversely affect working conditions and public welfare. The unions are urging the government to reconsider these measures, citing concerns over increasing social inequality in Finland.

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