A strike by EVA Air cabin crews entered its fourth day June 24, causing widespread disruptions and overshadowing the delivery of the Taiwanese carrier’s first Boeing 787-10.

The airline, operating at around 40% capacity, has canceled more than 850 flights to date, affecting about 105,000 passengers. The Star Alliance member also suspended all bookings until June 29 in the wake of the first labor action by its cabin crew members.

The crews are demanding pay and benefits on par with carriers such as Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific. They are requesting an increase in overseas allowance pay from TWD90 ($3) to TWD150 per flight hour. They also want overnight rests on nine regional round-trip routes, instead of having the same crew work both legs of the journeys. These include flights between Taipei and Beijing, Harbin, Hohhot and Shenyang in China; Phnom Penh; Ho Chi Minh City; and Tokyo.

The Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union is set to hold a second vote June 29 to decide whether the strike will continue.

EVA president Clay Sun said June 24 the airline will recruit 200 more cabin crew by the end of the year and, for the first time, hire men and foreigners as flight attendants. 

Meanwhile, the first of 20 787-10s the airline ordered was delivered to Taipei Taoyuan Airport on June 21 and will be deployed on high-density routes in Asia, including Bangkok, Hong Kong, Hangzhou, Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo. Most of these routes are affected by the labor action.

The 787-10 will join four 787-9s already in service since 2018.

The new widebody is fitted out in a two-class configuration, seating a total of 342 passengers. The remaining aircraft are to be delivered by the end of the year.  

Chen Chuanren, chuanren@purplelightvisuals.com