Friday, April 26, 2019

SAS cancels 673 flights as pilots go on strike

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) was forced to cancel 673 flights on April 26 as 1,409 SAS pilots went on strike after an agreement could not be reached on predictable working hours and market-based salaries. More than 72,000 passengers were affected.

According to SAS, 70% of domestic, European and long-haul flights were canceled.

SAS pilots were from four unions: the Danish Pilots Association, the Norwegian SAS Flyers Association, Scandinavian Norway Flygerforening and the Swedish Air Line Pilots Association. The group represents 95% of SAS pilots in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Reuters reported that analysts at Sydbank expect the strike to cost SAS up to SEK80 million ($8.4 million) per day.

Flights operated by SAS Ireland and airlines that are SAS subcontractors, which make up approximately 30% of all departures, are not be affected by the strike.

The Star Alliance member said it wants to continue negotiations and reach an agreement to end the strike as soon as possible. Negotiations have been held in all three countries since March with the support of external mediators in the final stages.

SAS director of communications Karin Nyman said: “It is deeply regretful that the pilots’ strike will have a negative impact on our customers. SAS is prepared to continue to negotiate, but if the requirements [had been] met, they would have [had] very negative consequences for the company. Nonetheless, the pilot associations have chosen conflict.”

“The strike could have been avoided if SAS had shown willingness to meet us. Instead, we meet a SAS management who believes that their employees must accept deteriorated working conditions, unpredictable working hours and uncertainty for their own workplace,” head of the Norwegian SAS Flyers’ Association Christian Laulund said in a statement.

(Kurt Hofmann - ATWOnline News)

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