Asiana Airlines Experiences More Cancellations and Delays Due to Pilot Strike for Higher Wages


SEOUL, July 17 (Yonhap) — Flight cancellations and delays on Asiana Airlines Inc.’s domestic and international routes have increased since its pilots began a work-to-rule protest last month for higher wages, the company said Monday.

The protest, which began on June 7, involves the pilots only doing what is required by company policies and rules.

As a result of the work-to-rule campaign, which includes tactics such as the “overuse” of jet fuel and “excessive” maintenance work, flights have been disrupted, causing delays, the company said in a statement.

The company reported that between June 7 and July 16, two international and 10 domestic flights were cancelled, and 56 international and domestic flights were delayed due to the collective action of the pilots.

“The pilots are demanding a 10 percent increase in basic pay for the 2019-2022 period, since there was no wage increase due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is much higher than the company’s proposed 2.5 percent rise for the four-year period,” a company spokesman said over the phone.

Other unionized workers, except for pilots, have already accepted the 2.5 percent wage increase for the pandemic-hit period, he said.

The company is in talks with the union, but there are differences between them regarding wages, the spokesman said, adding that any industrial action could result in major damage to related parties.

The pilots’ union has plans to begin a strike next Monday, raising worries about the potential impact on passengers, businesses that transport their products via aircraft, and the tourism industry.

Airlines typically prepare for a large increase in travel demand as people take trips for summer holidays from the middle of July through the end of August.

Asiana plans to reorganize flights and reschedule existing flights as it expects the number of flights on international and domestic routes to drop by 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively, it said.

“Given the company’s current financial status, it is impossible to accept the union’s demands,” the statement said. “The company is calling for the union to cancel the planned strike immediately and have negotiations with the company in a sincere manner.”

This file photo offered by Asiana Airlines shows an A350 passenger jet. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

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