China Airlines pilots agree to end week-long strike

15, Feb. 2019

TAIPEI, NNA – Taiwan’s largest carrier China Airlines Ltd. on Thursday signed an agreement with its pilots to end their week-long walkout over issues about job security and working conditions.

The company accepted the union’s main demand to increase the number of pilots on various routes and hire pilots mainly from Taiwan.

Disrupted flight schedules are not expected to return to normal until Feb. 21 as the airline had already canceled 41 flights from Feb. 15 to Feb. 20.

“Even if the strike is over, the canceled flights will not be recovered,” a China Airlines official in Tokyo told NNA on Thursday.

Over 200 flights were cancelled after the union launched the labor action on Feb. 8, stranding close to 50,000 passengers and resulting in losses to the carrier of 500 million New Taiwan dollars ($16.2 million), the South China Morning Post reported, quoting unnamed sources.

It said China Airlines would compensate the affected passengers up to $250 as long as they had proof of their expenses.

The airline was last hit by a strike in 2016 when cabin crews walked out for two days, resulting in 122 canceled international flights and $9 million in losses, the paper said.