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Political Strikes in Finland to Cause Air Traffic Disruptions

Several trade unions announced strikes in Finland today, January 19 – a 48-hour political industrial action from 1 to 2 February 2024.

Finnair is currently assessing the extent of the impact of the industrial action on Finnair flights, but it is already now clear that the political strike will have a significant impact on Finnair’s operations, and will result in flight cancellations. Finnair has approximately 60,000 customers on 1-2 February whose travel plans may be affected by the strike.

Finnair has not yet made any changes to its traffic program for February 1.-2.,but offers customers the opportunity to change their flight to another Finnair flight so that the flight does not fall on strike days. Customers who have a booking between 31 January and 3 February can choose to travel earlier or postpone their travel so that the travel date is no later than March 15, 2024. If the customer’s ticket type allows changes, they can change travel dates via Manage Booking on Finnair’s website. If the customer’s ticket type does not allow changes, the change to the travel date can be made by contacting the travel agency that booked the ticket or Finnair Customer Care.

“It is clear that the strike will cause flight cancellations, and we hope that as many customers as possible will find a suitable replacement flight well in advance and thus can avoid uncertainty in their travel plans,” says Jari Paajanen, Vice President, Operations Control at Finnair. “We also ask customers to be patient, as our customer service may become congested due to the situation.”

Finnair will start cancelling flights once the effects of the strike on Finnair’s traffic have become clearer and will then communicate cancellations directly to all customers whose flights are cancelled and who have not changed their travel dates already. Customers can check their up-to-date contact information on Finnair’s website in Manage Booking. If the customer has not changed their flight date and the flight has to be cancelled, Finnair will offer customers a new route to the destination.

“We aim to re-route customers to flights either before or after the strike. We communicate directly to customers about changes to their flights as soon as flight cancellations are made,” says Paajanen.

It is likely that there will be disruptions in ground services, baggage handling and food and beverage catering for flights during the strike days. The political strike is also likely to be visible in traffic on the days following the strike, as all Finnair flights are round trip flights, and the scheduled return of a cancelled flight may also take place on the following days.

“We are very sorry that political industrial action unrelated to Finnair is disrupting our customers’ business and leisure travel plans. There are also many foreign tourists in Finland, and the situation inevitably affects the image they have of Finland,” Paajanen says.