Negotiators for Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and its pilots’ unions returned to the bargaining table at 11am on Wednesday, which happens to be the Labour Day holiday in Norway and most of the rest of Europe. Hopes were rising by midday that the pilots’ strike that began Friday morning would soon end.
“I can confirm that the two sides will have talks with the state mediator,” Mats Wilhelm Ruland, the state mediator himself, told news bureau NTB. “We will try to find a solution to the conflict.”
SAS spokesman Knut Morten Johansen told state broadcaster NRK that the airline and its pilots were entering into “a good and constructive phase where we, with the mediator’s help, can hopefully find a solution to this tragic strike.”
Another 504 SAS flights were cancelled on Wednesday, spoiling travel plans for more than 47,000 passengers. More than 300,000 SAS passengers have been affected by the strike so far. SAS has also felt compelled to lay off around 1,000 employees, most of them cabin crew, because of all the grounded flights.