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SAS canceled more than 1,200 additional flights

SAS flight photo file at Copenhagen airport. Photo by Mads Claus Rasmussen / Scanpix

SAS will cancel 1 213 flights on Monday and Tuesday as a result of the ongoing pilot strike.

Further cancellations, which are added to hundreds of flights canceled from Friday, are the result of a strike by SAS pilots in Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

110,000 passengers are expected to be canceled on Monday and Tuesday. According to the airline, this increases the number of passengers affected to 279,334 persons. About 2,802 departures have been canceled since Friday.

"We are deeply sorry that our customers are hit by an ongoing strike," the airline wrote in a press release.

In a press release, SAS said passengers who bought tickets with a business trip on or before May 5 may change and / or cancel their tickets free of charge.

The pilot strike is caused by the conflict between Scandinavian pilots and SAS over pay and working hours. Among other things, pilots want more predictability in their work shifts. Nowadays, many pilots get to know the working rules only with a 14-day notice.

According to Danish Pilotforening, the lack of predictability means that pilots sometimes have to work up to seven weekends in a row.

“We expect that the same service conditions as other low-cost carriers can be obtained. SAS should not be the worst place to work as a pilot. We do not have disproportionate demands and have tried to find a solution with SAS, ”said Dansk Pilotforening Vice President Henrik Thyregod on Friday.

According to media reports, Swedish pilots also reportedly demand a wage increase of 13%. They were reportedly offered a 2.3 percent increase in wages. The salary requirements of Danish and Norwegian pilots were not confirmed.

The Swedish Transport Confederation insists that it cannot accept the demand for 13% wage growth, given that Swedish pilots "already have a high average wage of 93,000 crowns" [€8,766, $9,769] Moon".

On Sunday afternoon, it was uncertain when SAS and its pilots would meet again to continue negotiations.

Swedish spokesman Svensk Pilotförening, Wilhelm Tersmeden, told the Swedish news agency TT that "there are no negotiations" and that the union meets instead internally with its members.

In a video report released on Friday, SAS CEO Rickard Gustafson promised to "do everything we can to put an end to the conflict as soon as possible."

In recent years, SAS has implemented repeated savings programs to improve its profitability after it almost went bankrupt in 2012. In the first quarter of 2019, the airline deepened its losses, which was affected by the negative foreign exchange effects and high fuel prices. This showed a net loss of 469 million kronor, compared to 249 million a year earlier.

Although the carrier predicts year-round profit, Danish bank Sydbank predicted on Friday that the strike would cost SAS 60-80 million crowns ($ 6 million to $ 8 million) a day.

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