SAS cancels another 504 flights as pilot strike continues
April 30 2019 02:17 PM
Passangers wait at the Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) counter at Oslo Airport in Gardermoen
Passangers wait at the Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) counter at Oslo Airport in Gardermoen


A strike by pilots in Denmark, Norway and Sweden has forced Scandinavian airline SAS to cancel 504 flights on Wednesday, affecting about 47,000 passengers.

‘I am deeply concerned that the pilot strike hasn't been resolved and that it is continuing to affect our customers,’ chief executive Rickard Gustafson said on Tuesday.

The labour action since Friday has resulted in hundreds of cancellations and has as of Tuesday - the fifth day of the strike - hit about 280,000 passengers.

Mediated talks with the SAS pilot unions representing almost 1,500 pilots broke off early Friday without an agreement, triggering the strike.

SAS pilots want compensation for wage cuts and other concessions they made in 2012 when the company was in financial dire straits.

More predictable work schedules was another demand from the unions.

Gustafson said the pilots' demands ‘entail significant cost increases for SAS that would threaten the company's long-term competitiveness,’ and possibly jobs.

Domestic flights in the Nordic region as well to European and long-haul destinations were disrupted.

About 30 per cent of flights operated by SAS subcontractors were not affected, and the use of subcontractors has also concerned unions.

Mediators in the three Nordic capitals said there were big differences between the parties after the talks broke off early Friday.

Pilot unions and SAS said no formal contact has been made since.

In Sweden, the pilots requested wage increases of 13 per cent, while mediators offered 2.3 per cent, in line with general wage hikes, which the employers accepted.

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