Korean Air Pilots on Strike Through December 31
While British Airways was able to avoid a Christmas Day strike, it looks like Korean Air wasn't as lucky. For the first time since 2005, Korean Air pilots have gone on strike — and they're staying on strike until at least December 31.
The union is calling for a 29% increase in pay, but the airline has only offered a 1.9% raise, saying the "pilots' demands are nonsense." Currently, Korean pilots average ₩150,000,000 (around $125,000) per year in compensation. But Korean Air pilots have been leaving in droves for Chinese airlines, which have been offering $208,000-$250,000 salaries to recruit them.
Thankfully, the impact on flights is going to be fairly limited, as a total strike by pilots isn't allowed under Korean law. As airlines are listed as a critical industry, the airline must be able to continue to operate at least 80% of international flights and at least 50% of domestic flights. For this strike, Korean Air reports that at least 90% of scheduled flights will continue to operate and only 150 flights have been cancelled.
While the impact is going to be much greater on domestic flights, only a relatively few international flights are being cancelled by this strike. No cancellations have been announced for flights to/from the US. Here are the international flights that are currently cancelled:
|Date||From||To||Flight #||Departure Time|
|12/24, 25||Seoul (ICN)||Hong Kong (HKG)||601||13:45|
|12/24, 25||Hong Kong (HKG)||Seoul (ICN)||602||18:00|
|12/24, 25, 26||Seoul (ICN)||Tokyo (NRT)||701||9:05|
|12/24, 25, 26||Seoul (ICN)||Tokyo (NRT)||705||18:45|
|12/24, 25, 26||Tokyo (NRT)||Seoul (ICN)||702||12:50|
|12/24, 25, 26||Seoul (ICN)||Osaka (KIX)||727||11:05|
|12/24, 25, 26||Osaka (KIX)||Seoul (ICN)||728||14:00|
|12/26||Seoul (ICN)||Riyadh/Jeddah (RUH/JED)||961||23:10|
|12/24, 25, 26||Tokyo (NRT)||Seoul (ICN)||706||9:10|
|12/24||Jeddah (JED)||Riyadh/Seoul (RUH/ICN)||962||14:00|
|12/25||Seoul (ICN)||Dubai (DXB)||951||12:35|
|12/25||Dubai (DXB)||Seoul (ICN)||952||23:20|
|12/27||Tokyo (NRT)||Seoul (ICN)||706||9:10|
|12/27,29,31||Jeddah (JED)||Riyadh/Seoul (RUH/ICN)||962||14:00|
|12/28,30||Seoul (ICN)||Riyadh/Jeddah (RUH/ICN)||961||23:10|
|12/30||Seoul (ICN)||Dubai (DXB)||951||12:35|
|12/30||Dubai (DXB)||Seoul (ICN)||952||23:20|
This strike isn't going to affect many US-based travelers. However, the chasm in pay between what Korean Air pilots demand and what the company is offering could lead to more strikes in the future — or pilot shortages as more Korean Air pilots head to China for much higher pay.
Are you being impacted by this strike?