Finnair to slash 155 jobs as it cuts costs

AP News
Posted: Sep 29, 2011 11:49 AM
Finnair to slash 155 jobs as it cuts costs

Finnair said Thursday it will lay off 155 more workers as it streamlines operations to cut costs and retain its competitive edge.

The layoffs will mainly be in support functions and the marketing and distribution sectors, the airline said.

CEO Mika Vehvilainen said it was necessary to increase efficiency as "Finnair simply has to change to be able to meet the increasingly tougher competition and take our share of market growth."

Finnair's share price was down slightly, closing at euro2.98 ($4.06) on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.

In March, the national carrier announced 450 layoffs in technical services, and the transfer of dozens of other jobs as it outsourced services.

Finnair has been struggling to cut costs amid declining demand, competition from budget airlines and overcapacity in the European airline sector. It has laid off hundreds of workers and last year was plagued by several strikes, including by cabin crews, that cost it more than euro25 million in lost earnings.

It also doubled an annual savings program to euro200 million with most cuts aimed at personnel costs.

Last month, Finnair reported a second-quarter loss of euro23 million and announced a new savings target of euro140 million ($191 million) by 2014. It said that profitability had not matched expectations, citing increased competition from budget airlines as "more efficient business models" had entered the market.

Finnair PLC, which is 56 percent government-owned, flies to about 50 destinations with a fleet of 65 aircraft. It employs 7,500 people _ down from 7,600 a year earlier.