The Omicron variant of Covid-19, a looming strike by maintained staff and the ongoing flu season has seen Finnair cancel a number of flights.
To cope with the resource challenges, the carrier is now reducing its traffic programme for the month of February by around 20 per cent and offering other flight options to its customers.
These flight cancellations will enable Finnair to operate a more flexible schedule and adapt to the expected rise in sick leave across different functions at Finnair and its partners, the airline explained.
“Staff sick leave is now significantly impacting Finnair and airports in Finland as well as throughout the world.
“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,” said Ole Orvér, chief commercial officer at Finnair.
The majority of the cancelled flights are on routes where Finnair operates multiple daily flights, so many customers will be offered an alternative flight on the same day.
These destinations include, for example, services to Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, Paris and Rome.
Changes will also take place to long-haul flights.
The inaugural of Finnair’s new Dallas service will move from February to March 27th 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 three.
Despite these proactive actions, last minute changes to flights are still possible due to sick leaves or weather-related disruption.
In addition, the strike announced by Finnish labour union Pro for January 17th could also cause more disruption and therefore flight cancellations.
Finnair said it was not a party in the dispute between the two labour unions, but any strike action would still have an impact upon Finnair aircraft maintenance.