Finnair temporarilly lays off 1,400 employees | india | Hindustan Times
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Finnair temporarilly lays off 1,400 employees

Finnish airline Finnair said it would put temporarily lay off 700 pilots and 700 catering staff as it cuts routes and costs to adapt to falling passenger numbers.

india Updated: Mar 13, 2009 21:28 IST

Finnish airline Finnair said on Friday it would put temporarily lay off 700 pilots and 700 catering staff as it cuts routes and costs to adapt to falling passenger numbers.

"Finnair is to place its pilots on unpaid leave as a consequence of a change in flight schedules," the company said in a statement.

Some 700 of its 800 pilots will be required to take unpaid leave for periods of at least one week, starting next month, it said.

The move is part of a cost-cutting programme aimed at saving around 30 million euros (39 million dollars) in the airline's flight operations division.

All of the around 700 employees in Finnair's catering unit, which is responsible for in-flight meals, would also be forced to take unpaid leave for periods stretching from two weeks up to three months, the company said.

"The economic situation and productivity of Finnair Catering have weakened significantly," unit chief Kristina Inkilaeinen said in the statement.

She said travel patterns had changed significantly since the beginning of the year "which has reduced sales clearly."

Like much of the industry, Finnair has in the face of the global financial crisis seen a dramatic decline in passenger numbers, which in turn has pressured it to lower fares.

The company said last month when publishing its 2008 results that the gloomy outlook would force it to cut routes and costs.