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    SAS pilots strike: hundreds of flights cancelled

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Scandinavian airline SAS, whose pilots have been on strike for a few days to denounce working conditions, is facing further disrupted services. On Thursday, 709 flights were cancelled, leaving 54,000 passengers stranded. Negotiations between unions and management are still ongoing.

    In total, more than 4,500 flights have been cancelled since last Friday, when the conflict began. The majority of SAS’ domestic flights, but also European and long-haul routes, are disrupted by this strike, which is being followed by nearly 1,500 pilots in Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

    Belgium is also suffering the consequences since SAS operates from Brussels Airport to Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm.

    “Despite intensive negotiations and a determination to avoid conflict, we have regrettably been unsuccessful. The pilots´ unions have today decided to go on strike. I regret this deeply,” said Rickard Gustafson, SAS CEO.

    The Swedish Airline Pilots Association, which initiated the strike, said that months of negotiations had failed to find a solution to “deteriorating working conditions, unpredictable working hours and job insecurity” for pilots.

    The Swedish association, supported in its requests by the Danish and Norwegian pilots’ associations, pointed out that variable working hours, more than wages, were the main point of discussion.

    Jules Johnston
    The Brussels Times