The strike by pilots and flight engineers over salary cuts at All Nippon Airways (ANA)is moving into its second week with no sign of an end to what is an almost unprecedented level of industrial action for Japan.
By 17 April, the twelfth day, the number of cancelled international flights stood at 74, affecting some 15,300 passengers. ANA says that the action is costing it around ´200 million ($1.5 million)per day.
Management and the union remain sharply divided over the new wage system, introduced at the start of April. It aims to link crew pay to actual hours flown, replacing a 26-year-old scheme in which pilots were paid for 65h a month regardless of actual flight hours .
Management contends that a crew averages about 50h flying per month and hopes that the new system would cut labour costs by at least ´1 billion per year.
"If management give in now, they'll have gained nothing. If they win, it will still take them three years to write off the costs of the strike against the savings," says Paul Smith, airlines analyst with HSBC Securities in Tokyo.