SAS Pilot Strike Stretches Into Sixth Day
SAS Scandinavian Airlines has announced more flight cancellations as a strike by its pilots in Sweden, Norway and Denmark continues.
The airline said a further 546 flights have been cancelled for Tuesday, with 49,000 passengers affected. SAS had already cancelled 2,256 flights by Monday night, affecting over 230,000 passengers.
The flag carrier of Denmark, Norway and Sweden said it deeply regretted the effects the strike was having on its customers and said it is doing everything it can to help passengers.
Talks between the airline and its pilots have been going on since March, recently with the involvement of external mediators. SAS said it “is striving to reach a solution as quickly as possible to prevent additional inconveniences.”
Swedish pilot union SPF (Svensk Pilotförening) called the strike after the rejection of mediator proposals for a solution to the dispute over terms and conditions. SAS pilots based in Norway and Denmark joined the work stoppage soon after. In total, 1,409 pilots are striking.
SPF chairman Wilhelm Tersmeden said “the strike could have been avoided if SAS had shown a real will to meet us. Instead, we meet a SAS management who believes that their employees must accept deteriorated working conditions, unpredictability in planning work hours and insecurity for their own job.”
The striking pilots have received support from colleagues around the world, with the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) pledging its “full support to all SAS pilots on strike.”
IFALPA said the strike could have been avoided if SAS management had shown more willingness to engage in good faith negotiations. “It is unfortunate that just before the start of the negotiations, SAS management suddenly chose to end all existing agreements with the pilots on cooperation, production, career development, and seniority systems.”
SAS said flights operated by its partner airlines are not be affected by the strike.