Hong Kong, Finnair, Flight Attendants, Osm

Hong Kong, Finnair

Finnair joins ranks of companies distancing themselves from Hong Kong anti-government protests

Finnair warned crews they would be removed from future flights for mentioning the company’s name in protest-related social media posts.

20.8.2019

Finnair warned crews they would be removed from future flights for mentioning the company’s name in protest-related social media posts.

Finland’s biggest airline has become embroiled in the political unrest rocking Hong Kong , distancing itself from anti-government demonstrators as the effects of Chinese pressure on foreign businesses spills outside the city. Finnair warned its flight attendants in Hong Kong against bringing it into disrepute

The recent unrest, now in its eleventh week, was sparked by an extradition bill which has since been shelved, but has grown to encompass wider anger at the city’s government and police. Demonstrations have turned ugly, with residents hurling projectiles and petrol bombs at police, and officers using tear gas, rubber bullets and beanbag rounds.

China is the Nordic carrier’s second-largest market for long-haul travel. It runs 42 flights a week to the Greater China region, including 28 services to six mainland destinations. Only Lufthansa is bigger among European carriers serving the China market, with 63 weekly flights.

Cathay Pacific Group has been hardest hit so far. Its CEO Rupert Hogg resigned last Friday following criticism in mainland China of the company’s response to the protests, in which members of its staff took part.

The letter, from the law firm representing OSM, Stephenson Harwood, was sent to the AY Hong Kong Cabin Crew Union – AY being Finnair’s airline code – on August 14.

Staff were told Finnair was “extremely disappointed” that its name was being used without consent, and at being associated with the Hong Kong demonstrations on social media.

With Finnair’s name dragged into the protest, OSM said, “some passengers” had contacted the carrier to cancel bookings, “as they are afraid to fly with crew who support violent demonstrations”.

It stressed its own staff, separate to those employed by OSM, had not been involved in the demonstrations, but noted “a small group of personnel” from the local company had posted protest-related views online.

This article first appeared on South China Morning Post

Read more: Yahoo Singapore

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