SAS cancels more flights as pilot strikes continue

Scandinavian airline SAS has cancelled more than 500 flights scheduled for Wednesday as pilots enter a fifth day of strikes.

Pilots at the airline went on strike on Friday, grounding 70 per cent of flights. More than 300,000 travellers have been affected so far, with Wednesday’s strikes set to ground a further 47,000.

The SAS Pilot Group, which represents 95 per cent of the airline’s pilots in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, has said the dispute concerns more than simply wages, pointing to demands for more predictable and transparent working hours.

SAS, which is part-owned by the Swedish and Danish governments, deemed the demands as a threat to competitiveness and jobs, highlighting that they would entail “significant cost increases.” The airline remains open to negotiation, however, with Chief Executive Rickard Gustafson saying, “SAS has clearly stated that we are prepared to continue negotiating and find a solution.”

“The unions have not yet indicated that they are ready to release their ultimate demands and return to the negotiating table, which means that we remain in a deadlock,” he added.