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Finnair Flights Canceled As Pilots Begin Strike

Finnair pilots walked out just after midnight Monday, forcing Finland's national carrier to cancel all its scheduled international and domestic flights affecting thousands of passengers.

750 pilots went on strike after week-end negotiations over a labor contract between the airline and the pilots' union failed.

The industrial action on first day grounded at least 215 international and domestic flights, which would have carried about 15,000 people to destinations.

The Finnish airline pilots association (SLL) said the strike will continue until an agreement between the pilots and Finnair is reached.

The airline had canceled Sunday all of its European and domestic flights from Helsinki, with a scheduled return on Monday, as well as nearly all long-haul departures.

Finnair said it will try to make arrangements with other carriers or reimburse travelers for their tickets.

The strike to protest Finnair's plan to outsource flights to domestic carrier Finncom, while some of its own pilots remain laid off, will cost the company at least 2.5 million euros ($3.7 million) a day.

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