Hundreds of Flights Canceled as Air Attendants Strike in Taiwan

By BLOOMBERG

A flight attendants strike has forced Taiwan’s EVA Airways Corp. to cancel hundreds of flights, just as the peak summer vacation season starts to get under way.

The airline will scrap a total of 852 flights in the eight days to June 28, an EVA Airways spokesperson said by text message on Monday. Flights between Taipei and Hong Kong — one of the world’s busiest international air routes — as well as from Taiwan to Japan, Singapore, London and New York will be affected, according to EVA Air’s website.

The attendants are demanding higher pay and better working conditions, with their union voting to strike last week after negotiations with the company failed. The action, which started on Thursday, involves more than 2,000 staff, according to the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union’s Facebook page. That would amount to almost half EVA Air’s flight attendant roster as of May 31, data on its website shows. The airline said it is seeking to continue discussions with the attendants.

The cancellations are already impacting EVA Air. More than 150 flights were canceled between June 20 and June 23, resulting in about NT$580 million ($19 million) of lost revenue, the company said in a statement Sunday. Its share shave dropped 4.5% since the close of trading on Thursday.

The strike is the second in Taiwan this year. Staff of China Airlines Ltd., Taiwan’s largest carrier, took action in February, stopping work for seven days. Pilots reached a deal with China Airlines on compensation that was estimated to add about NT$114 million to the carrier’s annual costs.