Finnair today announced that it had started negotiations with its cabin crew union regarding 450 positions that may be outsourced to partners on US and Thailand flights.
This would represent roughly one-quarter of the flight attendants Finnair employs in Finland. Long-haul flights from Copenhagen, Stockholm, Singapore, Hong Kong, and India are already crewed by non-Finnish cabin crew.
You can access Finnair here.
Press Release from Finnair:
Finnair starts change negotiations with its personnel on plans to subcontract inflight service on part of its long-haul routes
Finnair starts change negotiations with its cabin crew in Finland to discuss its plans to subcontract inflight service on routes to/from Thailand and the US to partners. Possible subcontracting would be implemented by the end of 2023. The plan is a part of the efforts to restore Finnair’s profitability by reducing unit costs and strengthening unit revenues. Finnair made considerable losses during the covid-19 pandemic, and the closure of Russian airspace significantly impacts Finnair’s ability to generate profit.
Finnair’s primary target has been to find solutions for decreasing unit costs together with its employees. During this autumn, Finnair has discussed with all its employees about possibility to achieve savings by changing employment terms. For cabin crew, Finnair proposed changes for example to crew utilization efficiency, layover hotel rules and to additional pay per hour rules for long flights, as the closure of Russian airspace has made the flight times to Asia considerably longer. A negotiation result was reached with some employee groups, but unfortunately, a solution was not found with the cabin crew in Finland. In this situation, Finnair must seek savings through alternative measures.
If realized, the subcontracting plan could result in reducing up to 450 jobs in Finnair’s Inflight services. Finnair currently employs approximately 1750 cabin crew members in Finland. The cabin service for Finnair’s Singapore, Hong Kong and India routes as well as for the Doha routes from Stockholm and Copenhagen is provided by Finnair’s partners already.
“Our target continues to be to find a savings solution together with our cabin crew. We now need a genuine will from the negotiators to find solutions that would allow us to continue inflight service with our own crew, and avoid redundancies. Discussion on alternative solutions is a vitally important part of the change negotiations process”, says Topi Manner, Finnair CEO.
The change negotiations will start on November 23 and are estimated to last at least six weeks. A social support program to help those who could lose their work in re-employment will be discussed in the negotiations.
Perhaps Finnair should outsource its leadership that bet the entire airline on Asian connecting traffic that collapsed overnight when Russia started the war against Ukraine.
It is a sad day when the cabin crew is cannot communicate in either of the two official languages of Finland (Finland and Swedish) and unable to understand the cultural peculiarities of the Nordics.
What level of commitment do these outsourced employees have, and what to do when a few of them fall sick and suddenly there isn’t t not enough crew to operate the long-haul flights even at their Helsinki hub?
Interestingly, the cabin crew on the wet-leased Eurowings (long-haul) and British Airways (short-haul) flights were from Finland.
I guess the management tries to blackmail the cabin crew union to accept worse working conditions, such as per diem, working hours, and accommodation at the destination.