Swedish strike hit Oslo flights

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Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) confirmed Monday morning that its negotiations with its Swedish pilots’ union had stranded, meaning that their strike continued to ground and disrupt flights. Among them were a dozen flights on Sunday between Oslo and Stockholm and more on Monday and Tuesday. (EDITOR’s NOTE: The strike ended Tuesday evening.)

Long-troubled SAS could report its second profitable quarter in a row. PHOTO: SAS

SAS was having more trouble getting its flights to and from Sweden into the air on Monday, as its Swedish pilots continued their strike. Several flights from Oslo to Stockholm had to be cancelled. PHOTO: SAS

“We are deeply worried and very surprised that the Swedish pilots’ union has again turned down the negotiator’s offer,” Karin Nyman, communications for SAS, told Scandinavian news bureaus TT and NTB. “Our only ambition is to get an agreement, but you have to be two to negotiate.”

SAS reported that 230 departures to and from Swedish airports were cancelled on Monday, disrupting travel plans for 27,000 passengers. Long-distance intercontinental flights are still running, though, because the roughly 400 pilots who have walked off the job work on short-haul flights within and from Sweden.

SAS said 220 flights were cancelled on Sunday, including the 12 flights between Oslo and Stockholm. SAS’ Norwegian spokesman said the strike spoiled travel plans for around 800 passengers departing from Norway.

Now more cancellations were expected on Monday. “We are very sorry that our passengers can be affected by the ongoing pilot strike in Sweden,” SAS wrote in a statement issued Monday. “Unfortunately there will be more cancellations and delays, both from Sweden and within the country.”

The Swedish pilots are demanding higher pay and more job security. Their Norwegian colleagues also threatened to strike last week, over SAS’ desire to have more flexibility in approving summer holidays, but SAS’ Norwegian pilots’ union, the airline and employers’ organization NHO Reiseliv came to terms after 18 hours of talks in overtime. A strike was thus averted and most SAS flights within and from Norway were running as scheduled this week.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund