Taipei--FAT Taiwan Inc., one of Taiwan's smaller airlines, canceled two morning flights between Taipei and Kinmen on Sunday after nine employees called in sick, but the airline would not say if the action amounted to a protest by the workers.
Flight FE065 flight from Taipei Songshan Airport to Kinmen scheduled to depart at 8:30 a.m had to be canceled because of a staff scheduling problem after nine people took sick or menstrual leave in accordance with company regulations, the airline said.
Consequently, return flight FE066 from Kinmen to Taipei, scheduled to take off at 10:10 a.m., was also canceled, the company said, noting that all of its other flights would operate as usual.
A total of 137 passengers were affected because of the cancellations, FAT said, and they were transferred to other carriers without having to pay any extra costs.
Of the nine individuals who called in sick, six were flight attendants and three were ground crew, Apple Daily cited the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) as saying, and affected the airline's scheduled personnel rotation for the day.
After making adjustments, the airline ended up canceling the two flights between Taipei and Kinmen but was able to maintain the rest of its flight schedule as normal, an airline spokesperson said.
The incident drew the attention of the CAA, which said it asked FAT why the flights were canceled and was told that the "flight attendants simply felt unwell."
But the move may have also been a protest against the airline, which earlier this month sacked 17 flight attendants over a wage dispute only to reverse course later and agree to allow them to resume their jobs on June 1.
The Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union did not directly comment on the move by FAT staff, but it criticized the carrier for what it said was a "management problem" after being unable to maintain a full flight schedule despite having only nine people not show up for work.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel