The Japan Air System labor union went on strike Wednesday for the first time in two years, demanding better summer bonuses and forcing the nation’s third-largest carrier to cancel 172 domestic flights, company officials said.
The 685-member union, which includes pilots, flight attendants and ground personnel, is dissatisfied with the company’s stance in negotiations on bonuses and safety issues, among other matters. It is refusing to work 360 domestic flights, the officials said.
The 172 flights accounted for 41 percent of all of JAS flights on Wednesday, and the disruption is expected to inconvenience about 23,000 passengers on 51 routes, even if managerial staff try to compensate by filling in, the officials said.
The strike affected customers in Tokyo, Sapporo and Fukuoka, they said, and passengers could be seen lining up for refunds.
JAS is mainly a domestic carrier.
The union at Japan Air Commuter, a Kagoshima-based JAS affiliate that mainly serves outlying islands, decided in the morning not to join the strike.
Meanwhile, Japan Airlines’ union also went on strike Wednesday over summer bonuses, but no flights were canceled as management staff took over, JAL officials said.
The labor union of All Nippon Airways decided late Tuesday night not to go on strike because it has reached an agreement with management.
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