Due to the pilots’ strike at the airline SAS, vacationers and business travelers in scandinavia must continue to reckon with problems in air travel.
In norway, companies and unions are now relying on the mediation of the national conciliator mats wilhelm ruland; talks began on wednesday. SAS was confident to reach an agreement with ruland’s help. "It is the only way to solve the conflict", said a company spokeswoman. Since the strike began, more than 3300 flights have been canceled, affecting about 327,000 passengers. Among them were also connections to germany.
On wednesday alone, more than 500 connections were canceled, SAS canceled another 280 connections with about 20,000 travelers for this thursday.
The norwegian subsidiary SAS norge announced on tuesday that it would temporarily suspend the working relationship with about 1000 employees, including 930 members of the cabin crew. A spokesman told the broadcaster NRK that the reason was the "stressful and dramatic situation for the company". SAS employed a total of 10,100 people in 2018, including about 2700 in norway. The norwegian cabin crew union supports the pilots’ strike, union head anneli nyberg told the newspaper aftenposten.
SAS deeply regrets the problems for its customers and is trying to resolve the conflict with the pilots’ unions as quickly as possible, said SAS CEO rickard gustafson. But the unions have not yet shown any willingness to return to the negotiating table after talks broke down.
Arbitration talks with the pilots’ unions representing some 1,500 pilots in norway, sweden and denmark broke down on friday without an agreement being reached. As a result, the pilots stopped working. They are demanding 13 percent more pay and better planning of their working hours. SAS argues that the demands would result in considerable cost increases for the airline, which in the long term would endanger the competitiveness of the company and thus the jobs of all SAS employees.