Finnair to extend furloughs to March 2021

Finnair to extend furloughs to March 2021

National carrier Finnair has said that it intends to extend a programme of temporary layoffs caused by the coronavirus crisis to the end of March 2021. The announcement came following the conclusion of codetermination talks on Friday. The talks involved a total of around 6,100 employees in Finland, Yle reports.

The airline said it estimated that it would operate about 30 percent of the normal number of flights in July, ramping up to roughly 70 percent by the end of the year. In May, the airline carried 26,700 passengers -- a decline of 97.9 percent compared to the same period last year.

Finnair cited the decline in passenger numbers as the reason for continuing the furloughs through the upcoming winter season until the end of March next year. The temporary layoffs will likely vary in length depending on the unit and roles involved. They may also be fixed term, or may be implemented as shorter work weeks or they may last indefinitely.

"For the moment there is no immediate work for everyone, because it will take a long time for flights to return to previous levels," Finnair communications chief Päivyt Tallqvist said.

"I would like to clarify however, that no one has been furloughed until the end of March 2021. Furloughs will be implemented based on the work that is available. The amount of work will be increased gradually as airline travel recovers. If that recovery is faster than anticipated, we will naturally call people back to work," Tallqvist added.

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