Finland’s flag carrier Finnair announced on Tuesday that it will cut about 700 jobs due to the dramatic market changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Around 600 of the redundancies will be in Finland as a result of co-determination talks with the country’s trade unions, the airline said in a press release issued on Tuesday.
At the end of August, the company had announced statutory cooperation negotiations to cut up to 1,000 jobs.
The redundancies will be implemented by the end of March 2021. In addition to the job cuts, long-term temporary layoffs will continue for thousands of Finnair employees.
The airline currently employs approximately 6,500 people around the world, 2,800 of them in Finland.
“This is a very sad day at Finnair,” said Topi Manner, chief executive officer (CEO) of Finnair, in the press release. “The COVID-19 pandemic has been completely unfair to our industry and unfortunately many Finnair employees now must experience its financial implications personally,”
However, he added that the changes are necessary and inevitable. Finnair’s re-build requires it to be competitive when aviation gradually starts to recover.
Furthermore, Finnair continues temporary layoffs impacting most of its employees in Finland. This may continue for a long time, as the recovery of the aviation industry will take several years based on industry estimates.
The airline noted that it had established a support program with its partners to help dismissed employees find employment again.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to Finnair’s operations, and the second wave of the pandemic this autumn is making the situation even more difficult.
At the beginning of October, the airline announced its intention to cut its winter 2020 flight schedule by half, but said that it planned to continue to fly to Shanghai, Nanjing and Hong Kong in China.