Finnair today announced plans to temporarily layoff a significant number of its workforce for up to three years as it seeks to make permanent cost reductions of up to €80 million by 2022. A large proportion of Finnair’s employees have already been furloughed but the airline has now starting negotiations to significantly expand the length of the temporary layoffs.
Several days ago, the Helsinki-based airline announced plans to restart operations to up to 30 per cent of its pre-Corona destinations by July and by the end of the year, Finnair is targeting to reach 70 per cent of normal operations. The airline has, however, warned that a full recovery to 2019 levels of passenger demand might not return for two to three years.
“It is clear that as we fly significantly less, the amount of work available is lower than normally as well, explained Johanna Karppi, the airlines SVP of People & Culture. “The gradually growing traffic program will increase also resource needs in due course. However, considering the uncertainties caused by travel restrictions and the coronavirus situation in general, the return to normal will take a considerable time,” she continued.
“That is why the temporary layoffs we now start negotiations on unfortunately seem to be inevitable.”
The airline said it intended to start negotiations with unions and employee representatives on May 25. The temporary layoff will impact the airline’s entire 6,100 strong workforce. Under Finnish law, the airline is able to furlough employees for an indefinite period of time if required but the airline said it wasn’t yet considering permanent redundancies.
A similar process if likely to affect Finnair’s international staff including Japenese and Chinese cabin crew.
In March, Finnair began a process of temporarily furloughing employees for between two to four weeks at a time as the true scale of the COVID-19 pandemic started to become apparent.
Finnair will increase services by 20 per cent in July, bringing its operations up to 30 per cent of pre-Corona levels. Amongst initial route relaunches are Beijing and Shanghai.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.