TAIPEI (CNA) — EVA Airways Corp., which is beleaguered by a strike staged by over 2,000 flight attendants since last week, announced on June 26 that it will cancel 368 flights in the first five days of July.
According to EVA Air, 73 flights will be canceled July 1 and July 2, affecting an estimated 12,500 and 11,600 passengers, respectively. From July 3 to July 4, 73 and 78 flights will be canceled, affecting 11,500 and 11,600 passengers, respectively, while on July 5, 71 flights will be canceled, with 12,500 passengers likely to be affected.
EVA Air said it will be able to offer more flights in the days ahead and could manage to operate 60 percent of its flights during the first five days of July — an improvement from the barely 40 percent recorded June 24.
Since the strike was launched June 20, flight cancellations are expected to have totaled more than 1,000 by June 30, affecting some 200,000 passengers, according to the airline.
Meanwhile, a silver lining seemed to have emerged in the standoff between the striking flight attendants and the airline’s management as the strike entered its seventh day.
The Taoyuan Flight Attendants’ Union has been talking with its striking members on adjusting its position on key issues and hopes that the revised appeals, to be made public Thursday, will get management back to the negotiating table, according to union deputy secretary Chou Sheng-kai (周聖凱).
In the face of displeasure among other sectors triggered by the strike, Consumers’ Foundation Honorary Chairman Hsieh Tien-jen (謝天仁) said the government bears most of the responsibility for finding a solution to the impasse.
The Executive Yuan must conduct a cross-department review and come up with a legislative proposal that would require giving a warning prior to a strike planned by employees in a monopoly industry, Hsieh said.
The strike has had an impact on several sectors and could lead to the closure of some of the smaller travel agencies, he went on.
As well as focusing on the rights of the striking workers, the Executive Yuan must also look to the interests of consumers and related industries, he said.
“The government should quickly find a solution to the strike and must not let the current situation drag on,” he urged.
Later Wednesday, Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材), confirmed that EVA Air will be able to provide 60 percent of its flights in July, due mainly to a decision to cut the number of long-haul flights and use larger planes.
To minimize the impact of the strike, the airline on Friday will also announce flight cancellations during the July 6-10 period, he added.
By Flor Wang and Yang Su-min