Finnair is starting negotiations with its cabin crew in Finland to discuss its plans to outsource inflight service on routes to/from Thailand and the US. Possible subcontracts would be implemented by the end of 2023. The plan is part of an effort to restore Finnair’s viability by reducing unit costs and strengthening unit revenues. Finnair has suffered significant losses during the Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of Russian airspace is severely affecting Finnair’s ability to make a profit.
Finnair’s main goal was to work with its employees to find solutions to reduce unit costs. This autumn, Finnair discussed with all its employees the possibility of making savings by changing employment conditions. For cabin crew, for example, Finnair proposed changes to crew utilization efficiency, stopover hotel rules and additional hourly wage rules for long flights, as the closure of Russian airspace has significantly increased flight times to Asia. A negotiation result was reached with some groups of employees, but unfortunately no solution was found with the cabin crew in Finland. In this situation, Finnair must seek savings through alternative measures.
If the subcontracting plan goes ahead, it could result in up to 450 job cuts in Finnair’s inflight services. Finnair currently employs around 1750 cabin crew members in Finland. Finnair partners already offer cabin service on Finnair routes to Singapore, Hong Kong and India, as well as on Doha routes from Stockholm and Copenhagen.
“Our goal is still to find a savings solution together with our cabin crew. We now need the real will of the negotiators to find solutions that will allow us to continue onboard duty with our own crew and avoid redundancies. Discussing alternative solutions is an extremely important part of the change processsays Topi Manner, CEO of Finnair.
The exchange negotiations begin on November 23 and are expected to last at least six weeks. A social assistance program is being discussed in the negotiations to help those who may lose their jobs if they are reinstated.