Asiana Airlines says flights running normally amid pilots' strike


  • Business
  • Wednesday, 06 Jul 2005

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Asiana Airlines, South Korea's second-largest carrier, said flights were operating normally Wedneday after fewer than half of its unionised pilots went on a one-day strike. 

"All of our 265 flights scheduled today - 152 domestic flights, 105 international and 8 cargo flights - will be operating normally without any disruption,'' said Asiana spokeswoman Kim Su-jung. 

"Among the union members, only half the pilots are joining this walkout today and we have enough non-union pilots.'' 

Asiana has 826 pilots, with 527 belonging to the union, Kim said. Some 200-250 of those pilots were participating in the strike, Kim said. 

The pilots began the 24-hour walkout at 1 a.m. Wednesday (1600 GMT Tuesday), demanding increased job security and reduced flying hours, according to their union.  

The pilots originally planned to walk out a day earlier but delayed the strike to pursue negotiations with management. 

"For now, the union plans to have a one-day strike, but if it decides to continue, disruption in operations will be inevitable,'' Kim said. 

She said the company was trying to solve the issue through dialogue with the union.The pilots said they also want to resolve the issue. 

"We are not asking for much other than enough rest time between flights to guarantee safety and job security,'' Asiana's union said in a statement on its Web site.  

"We will do our utmost to minimize passengers' inconvenience and try to resolve the issue through negotiation.'' 

Separately, unionized pilots at Korean Air, the nation's largest carrier, have staged a work-to-rule slowdown this week.  

The pilots are asking for better benefits and job security, including extending the retirement age to 59 from the current 55. 

No major disruptions have been reported from the slowdown, which include taxiing at slower speed on runways. - AP

For Another perspective from The Korea Herald, a partner of Asia News Network, click here

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