Some 1,000 Finnair technical services staff walked off the job Tuesday in what unions said would be a week-long protest against the company's plans to cut jobs as part of an outsourcing deal.
The strike will hit maintenance services for its scheduled services at Helsinki-Vantaa airport but the company said that it would be able to fly most of its flights on schedule, although some cancellations were to be expected.
"We apologise for any inconvenience this walk-out might cause for our customers," Finnair said in a statement, adding: "We will make every effort to ensure continued operations so our customers' travel plans won't be disturbed."
The strike was linked to Finnair's decision in April to outsource its engine and component services to Swiss company SR Technics, resulting in 280 job cuts.
That deal was part of a restructuring plan announced last year aimed at reducing the airline's annual costs by 140 million euros ($184 million) by 2014.
The unions, which had been discussing the impact of the SR Technics deal with Finnair, had not accepted the airline's proposal for financial and re-employment support packages for the affected employees, the company said.
One of the unions, Pro Union, also lamented in a statement Tuesday that "Finnair's management has not been forthcoming in providing employees with sufficient knowledge and financial reasons for the cutbacks."
Following April's announcement, 600 members of that union working in Finnair's technical branch staged a two-day strike.
Finnair employs around 7,500 people in all.