China Airlines Pilot Strike Cancels Flights

The Taoyuan Pilots Union in Taiwan has started a strike against China Airlines, prompting the Taiwan-based airline to cancel some international flights.

Currently, the airlines operations out of Taipei Songshan Airport (RCSS) and Taichung Airport (RCMQ) have not been impacted.

The strike comes during the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations, where many businesses are on break until Sunday in Taiwan. Most of the flight cancellations are long-haul international flights. Check on current flight cancellations due to the strike. However, as the holiday comes to an end, some flyers are find themselves facing the challenge of getting back home on time.

Pilots are mostly striking to protest the workload China Airlines places on pilots. Currently, flights more than 12 hours have three pilots and flights more than 8 hours have two pilots. The union wants the airline to increase the crew count to four pilots and three pilots, respectively. Fatigue is a major concern in the aviation industry and compromises on the safety of flight operations.

Other complaints including making the promotion system more transparent and hiring more Taiwanese pilots instead of foreign pilots.

Nearly 200 pilots have voluntarily given their flying certificates to the Taoyuan Pilots Union, forfeiting their ability to operate an aircraft. There are no plans to when the strike will end.

China Airlines is currently working to mitigate the impact the strike has on its passengers. Only about 10% of operations have been impacted by the strike. Despite the efforts, many passengers are taking to social media to complain about being unfairly punished by the consequences of the strike.

The airline has agreed to meet with the union and government officials to respond to the pilot union’s demands.

Headquartered in Taoyuan International Airport, China Airlines is one of two large airlines in Taiwan, the other being EVA Air. The national airline operates passenger and cargo flights to around 160 countries with around 88 aircraft.

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