Finnair concludes Cost Saving Negotiations with Cabin Crew

Travel News Asia Thursday, 16 November 2006

Finnair and the Finnish Flight Attendants Association (SLSY) have concluded negotiations in which savings were sought by cutting the cost level and improving the work productivity of cabin staff. The savings will be fully realised from 2007.

Under the savings agreement, Finnair will establish a long-haul group, for which around 400 cabin attendants will be chosen on the basis of applications. In the new long-haul flight group, cabin staff will fly from three to five long-haul flights per month. The present collective employment agreement allows for only two long-haul flights per month. 

The previous terms and conditions formed a barrier to the profitable growth of Asian traffic. Through the founding of the long-haul group we can raise the work productivity of cabin staff significantly, said SVP Kaisa Vikkula, who represented Finnair in the negotiations.

The new group division gives cabin staff the opportunity, depending on their life situation, to commit for a fixed period of time to fly solely on long-haul flights. This arrangement is part of a flexible examination of the collective employment agreement, commented SLSY Chairman Mauri Koskenniemi.

In the savings agreement, an understanding was reached on changes to Finnairs current collective employment agreement. The new agreement, among other things, enables cabin staff to work a five-day stretch instead of the present four-day period and schedules free days more efficiently. Due to a change in resting time, a flight can depart from a long-haul destination earlier in the morning than at present, which will increase the number of hours that aircraft fly per day. Cost savings will be obtained in the area of cabin staff hotel accommodation through a simplified process and a more efficient purchasing arrangement.

The cabin staff savings negotiations are part of a programme of structural change initiated in Finnair in the spring, which will result in a reduction of around 670 current jobs elsewhere in the group. The overall group savings target is 80 million euros. In the programme, cabin staff were set an annual savings target of ten million euros.

During this November, Finnair and SLSY will start further negotiations on a new collective employment agreement. The present agreement is valid until the end of September 2007. The intention is to rewrite the work, resting time and free day provisions completely so that they allow for the structural change that has occurred in flight operations and support Finnairs Asian gateway strategy as well as taking into consideration the position of staff. The progress of the work will be reported to the national conciliator in March.

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