Travelers and management at Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) could breathe a sigh of relief Tuesday night after the deeply troubled carrier avoided another strike, this time by its flight attendants. Unions representing them confirmed they’d agreed to new contracts that include a 3.7 percent pay raise from January 1.
“We have an agreement that secures our members a moderate pay raise in line with other work groups,” Bjarte Stedje, board leader of the flight attendants’ union Norsk Kabinforening in Norway, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). The flight attendants also agreed to accept a pay raise this spring that will reflect those achieved by other labour unions.
The unions were prepared to pull 500 flight attendants off the job after years of discontent and no pay raises since 2012. The airline, meanwhile, remains in bankruptcy proceedings filed right after SAS’ pilots went on strike early last summer, ruining travel plans for hundreds of thousands of passengers and causing huge losses for an airline already struggling to survive.
It was important for SAS to avoid another strike so that its economic restructuring can continue. Stedje also expressed relief that a strike was avoided, telling NRK that “we have made sure folks can travel home for Christmas.”