Finnish Employee Unions’ Political Strike Forces Finnair to Cancel Hundreds of Flights

Finnish Employee Unions’ Political Strike Forces Finnair to Cancel Hundreds of Flights

(IN SHORT) Employee unions in Finland have announced a political strike against the Finnish Government scheduled for February 1-2, 2024, leading to significant disruptions in Helsinki Airport’s operations and Finnair’s flight schedules. Finnair anticipates canceling approximately 550 flights during this period, affecting the majority of its daily operations. The airline aims to operate only a limited number of flights during the strike and will offer alternative routings to affected customers. Ground services and in-flight services may also be impacted, potentially causing delays for flights that continue to operate. Finnair has offered affected customers the option to change their travel dates or apply for refunds, and the rerouting process is expected to take about two days.

(PRESS RELEASE) Helsinki, Finland, 2024-Jan-30 — /Travel PR News/ — Several employee unions in Finland have announced a political strike against the Finnish Government, taking place on February 1–2, 2024. The political strike will have a significant impact on Helsinki Airport’s operations and on Finnair’s flight operations, and consequently, Finnair expects to cancel approximately 550 flights between 1.–2.2.2024.

Finnair has approximately 280 flights per day in its normal traffic program, so the vast majority of flights will be cancelled. Finnair targets to operate a handful of flights during the strike and will communicate directly to those customers who have booking on flights that will be flown.

Finnair will implement flight cancellations in its systems one flight at a time, starting from Tuesday morning January 30, with customers being offered alternative routings. Customers on long-haul flights with onward connections from Helsinki on February 1–2 will be routed directly to their destinations, as there are no connections from Helsinki during the strike.

During the strike, ground services, such as baggage loading​,​ and ​inflight service (e.g. food and drink offerings)​, may be ​affected​ and the flights that ​do operate​ on those days may be delayed.

“We have already given customers the opportunity to change their travel dates on Finnair flights. From January 30 onwards we start rerouting customers, using also other airlines’ flights,” says Jari Paajanen, Vice President, Finnair Operations Control Center.

Due to the large number of cancelled flights and customers, processing the cancellations and rerouting customers takes approximately two days.

“We will do our very best to offer a suitable flight option to as many customers as possible, but the number of alternative flights is limited,” says Paajanen. “We ask customers to kindly wait for the rerouting from us, as our customer service team is busier than usual and queue times can be long.”

“It is unfortunate that the political strike will affect so many customers’ travel. We will work in close collaboration with our partners to ensure that after the strike, our flight operations can again commence as smoothly as possible,” says Jari Paajanen.

Already on January 19 Finnair offered its customers the possibility to move their flights away from strike days. Customers with bookings on Finnair flights between February 1 and February 2 have been able to bring their trip forward or postpone it so that the travel date is no later than March 15, 2024. If the customer’s ticket type normally allows for changes, customers can change travel dates themselves in Manage booking service on Finnair’s website. If the customer’s ticket type does not allow for changes, a cost-free change to the travel date can be made by contacting the travel agency that booked the ticket or Finnair customer service. Finnair has already communicated this possibility directly to customers who have reservations during strike days.

If it is not possible for the customer to change the time of their travel, they can cancel their reservation and apply for a refund for the unused ticket. Customers who have purchased a ticket from Finnair can do this in Manage booking on Finnair’s website or by contacting Finnair customer service. If the ticket has not been purchased directly from Finnair, the customer is to contact the travel agency that booked the ticket.

Finnair is a network airline, specialising in connecting passenger and cargo traffic between Asia, the Middle East, North America and Europe. Finnair is the only airline with year-round direct flights to Lapland. Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do – Finnair intends to reach carbon neutrality latest by the end of 2045. Customers have chosen Finnair as the Best Airline in Northern Europe in the Skytrax Awards for 13 times in a row. Finnair is a member of the oneworld alliance. Finnair Plc’s shares are quoted on the Nasdaq Helsinki stock exchange.

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Source: Finnair