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Thousands affected as Scandinavian Airlines strike continues

30 April 2019

The carrier estimates the strike has affected some 170,000 passengers over the weekend.

SAS pilots in Norway, Sweden and Denmark joined the strike on Friday after wage negotiations collapsed. It cancelled another 1,213 flights today and tomorrow, hitting some 110,000 passengers.

The strike at SAS does not affect flights operated by its partners, which make up roughly 30 percent of all departures. Many travelers have decided not to show up to the airport thinking that their flight will be canceled - causing delays in the rebooking efforts.

The Swedish airline pilot's association, which is behind the strike, said months of negotiations had not managed to solve the issue of pilot's "deteriorating working conditions, unpredictable hours and lack of job security".

"SAS is prepared to continue to negotiate, but if the requirements were to be met, they would have very negative consequences for the company", Karin Nyman, director of communications at SAS, wrote in a press release.

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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.

Flight cancellations were declared by the flag provider of Sweden, Norway and Denmark on Sunday as the parties neglected to resume discussions.

SAS CEO Rickard Gustafson recorded a statement when the strike commenced on Friday offering regret at the situation which is affecting hundreds of thousands of passengers and has said that "we will do everything in our power to end the conflict as soon as possible".

"Many SAS pilots have no control over when and how long they have to work".

Analysts at Sydbank have estimated that the strike is costing SAS 60-80 million Swedish crowns ($6.3 million to $8.41 million) per day, which would effectively wipe out the airline's expected net profit for the year were it to last two weeks.

Thousands affected as Scandinavian Airlines strike continues