Reeling from Russian airspace closure, Finnair looks to cut jobs

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Hurt by the closure of Russian airspace, Finnair is in talks with staff on cutting up to 200 jobs globally, mostly managers and executives. 

The airline said the job cuts form part of a strategy to return to profitability but will not affect crew or other operational employees.  

Finnair’s business model was based on connecting Europe and Asia and the closure of Russia airspace to European carriers following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has significantly added to flight times and rendered routes unprofitable. The Finnish flag carrier has therefore already disclosed plans to improve its fortunes by reducing its fleet, introducing new routes, and cost-cutting measures. 

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the closed Russian airspace have impacted our business significantly,” Finnair CEO Topi Manner commented in a statement on September 29, 2022. “Thus, in addition to other actions to restore Finnair’s profitability, we have to discuss measures that are, unfortunately, the most painful ones for our employees”.  

The airline said the changes in its operating environment mean it will operate with smaller capacity than before the pandemic.  

Negotiations on the job cuts will start on October 5 and will take at least six weeks, Finnair said. If the plans are implemented, up to 200 jobs will be cut, of which around 120 would be in Finland. The company has 770 employees working in executive, manager and expert roles in Finland and said a social support program for those who lose their jobs will be part of the discussions.  

While crew jobs are safe, Finnair revealed that it was also discussing with staff changes in employment terms, as part of cost-cutting measures.  


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