China Airlines back in air after strike
CHINA Airlines (CAL) was slated to resume 80 per cent to 90 per cent of flights scheduled yesterday before fully restoring regular operations starting midnight today.
It was forced to cancel 67 flights on Friday and 62 out of 81 scheduled flights on Saturday due to a strike by flight attendants demanding improved working conditions.
Though management reached an agreement on Friday night with the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union over working conditions, attendants were not fully back to work until early this morning.
Swamped by passengers on Saturday morning, the CAL check-in counters had to cope with the fallout from the cancellations and delays.
Many passengers lashed out at flight attendants, accusing them of being selfish for demanding extra leave in the wake of the strike. CAL ground staff complained about bearing the brunt of the backlash from passengers.
In a meeting with representatives of the Travel Agent Association, CAL chairman Ho
Nuan Hsuan said it was necessary for the striking attendants to take a rest before they return to duty following the strike, in accordance with aviation regulations.
The travel agent association estimated that by the time CAL resumes regular flight services today, local travel agencies would have had at least 400 tourist groups failing to depart from Taiwan or returning from abroad on schedule.
It estimated that the losses would come up to US$1.54 million (S$2 million).
Mr Ho said it was more pragmatic to honour an additional annual expense of NT$200 million (S$8.3 million) to meet requirements by flight attendants than suffering a total loss of NT$3 billion from a 10-day strike.
THE CHINA POST/
ASIA NEWS NETWORK