36 more CAL flights canceled in Taiwan as pilot strike enters 6th day

Though some concessions have been made, China Airlines pilot strike continues for 6th day

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Although China Airlines (CAL) has made some concessions to its striking pilots during the third round of grueling negotiations this morning, 36 additional flights have still been canceled for the next two days.

As the pilot strike led by the Pilots Union Taoyuan entered its sixth day, a third round of talks resumed between the union and CAL at 1 a.m. and continued well into the morning. After seven hours of grueling "red eye negotiations," progress seemed to be made on the first of the pilots' five demands -- fatigue.

CAL President Hsieh Shih-chien (謝世謙) conceded to the pilots' demand to have three pilots onboard for flights lasting longer than 8 hours and four pilots for flights lasting longer than 12 hours. The union then pushed to also include three pilots on flights between seven and eight hours, but this was met with resistance by CAL.

However, as the negotiations wore on in the early morning hours today, the union instead focused on 10 particularly tiring routes. After more talks, Hsieh agreed to allow an extra pilot or other measures to avoid fatigue on five of the routes listed.

Although measurable progress has been made for the first time since the strike began, 36 flights are still listed as canceled from today until Feb. 15.

Cancellations of incoming flights include the following cities: Okinawa, Phnom Penh, Hanoi, New York, Los Angeles, Miyazaki, Rome, Takamatsu, Amsterdam, Osaka, Sydney, Hong Kong, London, Honolulu, Brisbane, Auckland, Vienna, and Fukuoka. Meanwhile, cancellations for outgoing flights include following destinations: Miyazaki, Takamatsu, Osaka, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Vienna, Vancouver, Auckland, Brisbane, New York, Rome, Fukuoka, and Melbourne.

The Pilots Union Taoyuan represents 900 of CAL's 1,300 pilots, of these, over 600 have joined in the strike thus far. Since the strike began at 6 a.m. on Feb. 8, CAL has been forced to cancel hundreds of flights, affecting over 20,000 passengers.

Information about flight cancellations can be found in English on the China Airlines website here.