SAS put more pressure on its striking pilots Tuesday afternoon, when it announced it was laying off more than 1,000 employees. Most of them are cabin crew who have no work to do when the vast majority of SAS flights are grounded.
SAS also cancelled another 504 flights due to take off on Wednesday, which is the May Day public holiday all over Europe. The cancellations spoil more travel plans of another 47,000 passengers holding tickets on the flights.
“This is a dramatic situation for the company,” SAS’ information chief Knut Morten Johansen told state broadcaster NRK. “The strike is ramming passengers on a scale we haven’t seen in modern times.”
SAS’ CEO Rickard Gustafson had earlier said he was “deeply concerned” that the strike hadn’t been resolved and that it’s hurting so many customers. “The consequences are serious for all travellers, for the society and also for our colleagues who are working around the clock to try to help passengers,” Gustafson said.
Representatives for the pilots remained firm in their demands as of Tuesday afternoon, not least since SAS’ board has given Gustafson himself large raises in recent years. SAS was offering full refunds to passengers due to travel on flights through May 5, or offers to travel at a later date, to help ease uncertainty for travellers.