TAIPEI (REUTERS, DPA) - Taiwan's Eva Airways Corp said it has cancelled 71 flights on Friday (June 21), affecting around 15,000 passengers, and suspended bookings temporarily due to a strike by flight attendants over pay.
Eva Air's website showed that flights from Taipei to New York, Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles, Paris, Singapore and Osaka were among those cancelled.
A check on the Changi Airport website by The Straits Times found that two Eva Air flights flying into Singapore and their corresponding departing flights on Friday have been cancelled.
In response to queries, Singapore Airlines (SIA), which has a code-sharing agreement with Eva Air, said: "While we are not able to provide specific details, Singapore Airlines has assisted to accommodate some passengers from the affected EVA Air flight cancellations to our own flights."
A code-sharing agreement means that airlines can sell seats on each others' flight in order to provide passengers with a wider choice of destinations.
SIA said that code-share passengers who are booked to travel with Eva Air may approach the company directly for assistance or contact SIA's reservations and ticketing offices.
Eva Air said about half of its operations were impacted by the strike. Bookings are suspended for flights departing from Friday through to June 29, the company said.
Eva Air shares closed 3.85 per cent lower on Friday, while shares in rival China Airlines Ltd were up 1 per cent.
Since late Thursday, the strikers have carried out sit-in protests outside the company's headquarters in Taoyuan in northern Taiwan.
Eva Air, best known internationally for the Hello Kitty livery on some of its jets, operates flights to many destinations around Asia as well as to North America and Europe.
The carrier said its Hello Kitty jets, service and meal items would not be available during the strike due to the need for frequent changes to its fleet.
The management of Eva Air, one of Taiwan's two major carriers, on Friday urged passengers to get updates about the strike information from the company's website.
Eva Air union member Chao Chieh-huan said on Friday that the strike was likely to be long term since management was not yielding to demands over daily allowances and other points of contention.
"It's not our purpose to affect flights. We hope the management would soon launch a sincere dialogue with the union," she told reporters.
Taiwan's transport ministry has established an emergency task force to deal with the strike.
Additional reporting by Toh Ting Wei