(13 Jan 2022)
Finnair has reduced its traffic programme for
the month of February by around 20%, due to the number of staff on
sick leave because of the omicron coronavirus variant and
traditional flu season.
“Staff sick leave is now significantly impacting
Finnair and airports in Finland as well as throughout the world,”
said Ole Orvér, Chief Commercial Officer
at Finnair. “We aim to meet these resourcing challenges through
the cancellation of flights, to avoid last-minute changes and
better manage our customers’ expectations. This will give
customers more time to prepare for flight schedule changes and
adjust their travel plans if needed.”
The majority of the cancelled flights are on routes where Finnair
operates multiple daily flights, so customers will be offered
an alternative flight on the same day. Such destinations include,
for example, services to Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, Paris and
Finnair A350-900 reg: OH-LWB. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com
Changes will also take place to long-haul flights:
the inaugural of Finnair’s new Dallas service will move from
February to 27 March and the start of the Nagoya flights, and
added frequencies to Osaka, will move to the summer season 2022.
Finnair will also reduce weekly frequencies to Singapore to twice
a week and to Hong Kong to thrice weekly.
“We are sorry for the inconvenience and disruption
this may cause to our customers. However, reducing our traffic
programme is necessary to better offer a smooth travel experience
in the face of the expected resource challenges,” Orvér continues.
During the pandemic, Finnair has offered
flexibility on all bookings and customers have been
able to change their travel dates without a change fee. Until 28
February 2022, customers can change their travel dates as many
times as they need, without any additional change fee. After that,
they can make one additional change. In most cases, customers can
make the change themselves online through the Manage Booking
service without needing to contact Finnair’s Customer Service.
In addition, the strike announced by
Finnish labour union Pro for 17 January may also cause more
disruption and flight cancellations. Finnair is not a
party in the dispute between the two labour unions, but any strike
action would still have an impact upon Finnair aircraft
maintenance. The airline says it has made special arrangements to secure the continued
maintenance of its aircraft during the potential strike.