A total of 31 aircraft technicians went on strike Saturday, raising concerns of flight cancellations next week at Norwegian Air, SAS and Widerøe. Flights were expected to run as scheduled through the weekend, but another 75 technicians are due to be pulled off the job on Monday.
“If so many are out on strike it can affect operations further, with delays and possible cancellations,” Silje Brandvoll, spokesperson for the domestic airline Widerøe in Norway, told state broadcaster NRK. “We’re working to get an overview, so that we can cancel some flights in advance, try to minimize the consequences of the strike and shield as many passengers as possible.”
The technicians are organized in labour organization Norsk Flytekniker Organisasjon (NFO), which bills its members as the only certified technical experts who can approve an aicraft’s flight worthiness after scheduled maintenance or unexpected problems or damage. They’re seeking raises that employers organization NHO Luftfart claims would amount to as much as 18 percent.
Mediation broke down during the night, with NFO claiming they needed higher pay to be more competitive in the market, since Norway has a shortage of aircraft technicians. Employers claim NFO’s demand was both unreasonable an unrealistic, and far from what the airlines can afford.
All airlines involved said they would contact passengers affected by any flight cancellations, but hoped there would be a settlement soon. SAS also faces a pilots’ strike from June 29, just as summer holidays get underway.