Wage talks between Scandinavian airline SAS and its pilots collapsed on Monday, triggering a strike says, Fidelity.
- Strike among pilots in the Scandinavian region.
- This will be a huge loss for the associated company, SAS.
- Almost half of the scheduled flights will have to be cancelled.
This strike among pilots puts the carrier’s future at risk as the summer vacation begins. After months of conflicts between the unions and the employers, this was the first major airline strike. This is when the industry is seeking to capitalise fully post the pandemic. “This is very bad news,” SAS CEO Anko van der Werff told reporters.
A strike could cost SAS some 80 million to 90 million Danish crowns per day, Sydbank analyst Jacob Pedersen calculated, and the company’s ticket sales for future flights will suffer. Shares in SAS fell 7% by 1128 GMT. “A strike at this point is devastating for SAS and puts the company’s future, together with the jobs of thousands of colleagues, at stake,” the airline said. Nearly 1,000 pilots in Denmark, Sweden and Norway will be joining the strike. “We blame this on SAS. We have finally realised that SAS doesn’t want an agreement,” said chairman Martin Lindgren.
Cut in Cost
SAS has been seeking to cut its cost, raise cash and convert its debt into equity. It is estimated that the strike will lead to the cancellation of approximately 50% of the flights. This will impact around 30,000 passengers daily. The carrier last month averaged 58,000 passengers per day and serves destinations in Asia, Europe and the United States. Union leaders and management have negotiated since November. The collective agreement between the airline and the SAS Pilot Group union expired on April 1.
Strike among Pilots
Pilots were angered by SAS’ decision to hire new pilots through two new subsidiaries- Connect and Link. Instead of first rehiring, former employees who lost their jobs during the pandemic.
A strike would include all pilots from parent company SAS Scandinavia, but not Link and Connect, a union that organises the 260 pilots attached to the two units. Neither would it affect SAS’ external partners Xfly, Cityjet and Airbaltic, the company has said.
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