Finnair prepares for possible flight cancellations due to working restrictions

Finnair may need to cancel individual flights due to working restrictions set by the Finnish Pilots' Association, the airline said in a press release on Monday (Nov 28).
Finnair may need to cancel individual flights due to working restrictions set by the Finnish Pilots' Association, the airline said in a press release on Monday (Nov 28). PHOTO: ST FILE

Finnair may need to cancel individual flights, such as when a pilot becomes ill and there is no one to fill the position, due to working restrictions set by the Finnish Pilots' Association, the airline said in a press release on Monday (Nov 28).

These restrictions include a ban on pilots working additional flights and pilot roster changes to cover for last-minute illnesses.

Currently, Finnair has fewer pilots available for duty than usual as the company is training pilots for new aircraft types and positions as part of its growth strategy.

Finnair cancelled one long haul flight on Sunday (Nov 27).

Collective labour agreement negotiations are still ongoing between Finnair and the pilot union. The collective labour agreement expired on Nov 15, 2016.

Confirmed cancellations will be announced on Finnair's website at https://www.finnair.com/int/gb/information-services/flights/flightslist.

Customers whose flights are cancelled will also receive a text message or e-mail. Customers are also advised to make sure their mobile phone numbers and e-mail addresses are included in the reservation details.

Finnair will communicate any updates on the situation on Facebook and Twitter.

In case of a flight cancellation, customers can postpone their trip free of charge to either between Nov 28 and Dec 21, 2016 or between Jan 1 and  March 31, 2017 according to seat availability.

Customers are entitled to a ticket refund if they choose not to travel.

"We are very sorry for the inconvenience and worry these cancellations might cause to our customers. We are making every effort to find the best possible alternative flights for our affected customers," said Finnair's Chief Operating Officer Jaakko Schildt.

"The negotiations are ongoing. I am hopeful we will reach an agreement soon with the Finnish Pilot's Association so we can resume normal flight operations."