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Finnair cabin crew strikes, stranding thousands

Anneli Salo

Finnish national air carrier Finnair cancelled more than 200 flights on Thursday, as cabin crew entered the third day of their strike, affecting 7,800 passengers, according to a Finnair spokesperson. The company has only been able to operate a few flights per day since the strike started on Tuesday afternoon.


There is no word about a new set of negotiations, fuelling fears that more passengers could be affected.

Negotiations centre around cabin crew schedules. The Finnish Cabin Crew Union says that Finnair is trying to undermine the system of compensatory days off for those who  work on long-haul flights.

Finnair CEO Mike Vehilaenen said on Tuesday that these union demands prevented the company from operating competetively. He warned that unless the labour issue was settled  and other cost-cutting measures were put in place, he would have to take Finnair jobs to countries with cehaper labour costs.

On Tuesday, Finnair said that the company is losing between 2 and 2.5 million euros per day of strike.

In related news, there was a breakthrough in negotiations with Blue1 and unions reached a deal with Swedish subsidiary airline Blue1, which flies mainly Finnish domestic routes.

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