SAS cancels more flights as pilot strike continues

Photo: AFP

Scandinavian air carrier SAS said Tuesday it had to cancel another 504 flights on Wednesday, affecting 47,000 passengers, as a pilot strike continued into its fifth day.

Since the start of the strike on Friday some 3,300 departures have been cancelled, affecting a total of almost 327,000 passengers, according to the company.

"I am deeply concerned that the pilot strike hasn't been resolved and that it is continuing to affect our customers," CEO Rickard Gustafson said in a statement.

"The unions have not yet indicated that they are ready to release their ultimate demands and return to the negotiating table, which means that we remain in a deadlock," he added.

Pilots are demanding better pay and work conditions and the Swedish Air Line Pilots Association, which initiated the strike, has said that months of talks had failed to result in a solution to pilots' "deteriorating work conditions, unpredictable work schedules and job insecurity".

As the strike commenced negotiations between the parties broke down and around lunchtime on Tuesday the parties were still not in direct contact.

"The mediators are in contact with the parties, but no negotiations are going on," Bosse Andersson, head of communications for the Swedish National Mediation Office, told AFP.

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