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

164 new cases, one death announced on Tuesday

 The Health Ministry announced the death of one person due to COVID-19. This raises the death toll from the virus in Cyprus to 176,...

Where to get antigen rapid tests on Wednesday

The Health Ministry announced the following antigen rapid test sites for Wednesday, 20 January 2021:   LIMASSOL Parking place Sklavenitis supermarket, Germasogia 08:30-16:30 Grigoris Afxentiou Square 08:30-16:30 Parking place...

Italy’s Mount Etna erupts at night time

Long streams of red-hot lava flowed down Mount Etna as Europe's tallest and most active volcano erupted again.   At 10,926 feet, Etna is the continent's...

Cyprus secures another 565,000 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines

Through additional procedures of the European Commission, Cyprus secured another 565,000 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, increasing the number of orders from the specific company...

Everything ready for inoculations among enclaved Greek Cypriots and Maronites

All necessary arrangements have been made to start inoculating against COVID-19 the enclaved population and those who repatriated in the Karpas peninsula and the...

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...