News World SAS pilots go on strike, stranding thousands of passengers

SAS pilots go on strike, stranding thousands of passengers

SAS pilots in Norway, Sweden and Denmark went on strike on Friday as wage talks broke down, triggering queues at airports as the carrier cancelled around 70 percent of its flights.

A strike across the three Scandinavian countries could affect some 170,000 passengers during the weekend, SAS has said.

SAS said on Friday it hoped to resume negotiations and reach an agreement as soon as possible.

“As a consequence of the strike, domestic, European and long-haul flights have been cancelled, and thousands of travellers will be affected,” it said in a statement.

Across airports in Scandinavia stranded passengers were queuing at SAS counters to get help.

“This strike delays everything,” said Mexican tourist Carmen Sosa, 50, who was stranded at Oslo’s Gardermoen airport.

SAS said it was prepared to continue to negotiate, but that if the pilots’ requirements were to be met, they would have “very negative consequences” for the company.

Labour unions this month called for 1,500 SAS pilots to go on strike on Friday if no agreement was reached on wages and other issues after an earlier round of talks failed.

“The strike could have been avoided, if SAS had shown a real willingness to meet us halfway,” said Rene Arpe, chairman of the Danish pilot union.

“Instead, we see a SAS management that thinks their employees must accept worse working conditions, unpredictable working hours and insecurity about their jobs,” Arpe said.

The aviation industry’s employer body in Sweden said pilots held onto their “extreme wage claims”, demanding a 13 percent wage increase despite what it calls already high average wages of 93,000 Swedish crowns ($9,759.89) a month.

“We had wished that the pilots had taken a greater responsibility in this situation,” said Torbjörn Granevärn, head of negotiation at the Swedish Confederation for Transport Enterprises.

The strike does not affect flights operated by SAS partners, which make up approximately 30 percent of all departures, the airline said.

SAS is in the midst of renewing an ageing fleet after spending years cutting costs in the face of competition from budget carriers such as Norwegian Air Shuttle and Ryanair.

The airline reported a bigger-than-expected loss for its first quarter in February, but said it still expected to record a profit for the year.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Triple digit covid cases for a 3rd day running but going down-101 today One in 18 positive

  One hundred and oney new Covid-19 cases were announced today, out of 2 thousand 781 tests, taking the total number of confirmed patients to...

Sudan says it will discuss trade, migration deals with Israel

  Sudan and Israel will discuss agreements to cooperate on trade and migration issues in the coming weeks, the Sudanese foreign ministry said, signaling steps...

‘Macron a nutcase who’s lost his way’, Erdogan says in new insulting tirade

  Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Emmanuel Macron had “lost his way”, in his second sharp criticism of the French leader in two days over...

Armenian community in Cyprus holds Karabakh protest

  The Armenian community in Cyprus held an all-day protest today, condemning the Azeri attack on Nagorno Karabakh. The march went through various areas of Nicosia,...

Spain decrees new state of emergency in COVID-19 fight

  Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced a new state of emergency in an effort to curb soaring coronavirus infections, imposing local nighttime curfews and...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...