Airline SAS strike hits more flights as talks resume with pilots | News | DW | 01.05.2019
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Airline SAS strike hits more flights as talks resume with pilots

Pilots with the Scandinavian airline have said cost-cutting measures have led to terrible working conditions and unpredictable schedules. The strike has affected more than 380,000 passengers.

SAS canceled hundreds more flights on Wednesday, despite a mediator announcing that talks had resumed between the Scandinavian airline's pilots and management. It was the first meeting between the two sides since pilots walked off the job in Sweden, Denmark and Norway on Friday.

"The situation is still very much deadlocked. The parties have not been able to agree," mediator Mats Wilhelm Ruland told the press late Wednesday. According to Norwegian daily Verdens Gang, however, both sides have signaled a willingness to continue negotiations after leaving hundreds of thousands of passengers in the lurch.

Pilots are asking for a pay raise and for better treatment, saying the airline partially owned by the Danish and Swedish governments is known for "deteriorating work conditions, unpredictable work schedules and job insecurity."

4,000 flights canceled

Some 1,409 pilots have participated in the strike initiated by the Swedish Air Line Pilots Association, prompting the airline to cancel over 4,000 flights and affecting more than 380,000 passengers.

Angry customers have been complaining on social media of being stranded in far-flung locales and of having to make expensive last-minute alternative arrangements. Others have been forced to wait up to four days for a new flight.

SAS has repeatedly introduced new cost-cutting measures in order to stay profitable since it nearly went bankrupt in 2012. Managers have said they are willing to strike a deal with pilots as long as the airline can remain competitive.

es/cmk (AFP, dpa)