Thu, Jun 27, 2019 - Page 12 News List

EVA to cancel hundreds more flights

EFFECTIVE STRATEGY:The airline is helping flight attendants renew their passports and paying for the process to entice cabin crew to end their strike and return to work

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) yesterday said that about 368 flights would be canceled from Monday to Friday next week due to a strike by its flight attendants.

The cancelations are expected to affect 59,700 travelers, the airline said in a statement posted on its Web site.

As more cabin crew return to work, the nation’s second-biggest airline said that its transportation capacity is expected to improve to about 60 percent of its normal capacity in the five-day period, compared with 40 percent currently.

Transportation capacity should rise further in the remainder of next month, it added.

As of yesterday, about 200 flight attendants had ended their participation in the strike and returned to work, an official from EVA’s public relations division told the Taipei Times by telephone.

That represented significant progress in boosting transportation capacity, as the airline on Tuesday said that it had collected 100 authorization letters from flight attendants asking it to represent them in retrieving three key identification documents — passports, Mainland Travel Permits for Taiwan Residents and employee identification cards — from the Taoyuan Flight Attendants’ Union so that they could return to work.

The return of some attendants who were working overseas and have had sufficient rest has also helped increase transportation capacity, the company said.

However, the airline said that it has stopped collecting the authorization letters, because the union has refused to return the flight attendants’ documents.

The company said that it would take the more effective approach of helping flight attendants renew their passports and pay for the process, the latest in a series of maneuvers by the airline to entice cabin crew to return to work amid deepening revenue losses and traveler complaints.

As of yesterday, EVA had canceled 295 flights since the strike started on Thursday last week, causing revenue losses totaling NT$1.34 billion (US$43.03 million), the company said in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

The airline has again called on flight attendants to end their picketing and return to work, warning that a breakdown in negotiations with the union could be imminent.

It declined to comment on the likelihood of reaching an agreement with the union by the end of this month as the Ministry of Transportation and Communications has hoped.

Shares of EVA were unchanged yesterday at NT$15.05 in Taipei trading.

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