Scandinavian carrier SAS canceled another 75% of its schedule on Monday, 250 flights total, as the dispute between it and its pilots union intensifies.
SAS Pilot Group (SPG), the union that represents SAS pilots, had agreed to partially break its strike to fly some charter flights in order to help some stranded passengers return home. SPG had made the deal under the conditions that the charter flights would be to destinations where there are few or no other options for return.
However, SPG on Sunday said that the carrier had deployed flights to “popular and well-trafficked holiday destinations, such as Rhodes, Crete, Larnaca, and Split, from where there are already alternative travel options" and had broken the agreement it had made.
SAS, according to Swedish newswire TT, responded that SPG’s claims are misdirected and that alternatives are “fully booked.” Still, SPG said that its pilots would no longer fly the charter flights, which SAS has said will further strand travelers around Europe.
There’s no timeline as to when the dispute will get resolved, and the disagreement over the weekend only shows a widening gap between SAS and SPG. While the two continue to negotiate over wages and working conditions, SAS continues to cancel flights.
Aside from the 250 canceled flights on Monday, 249 SAS flights were canceled on Sunday, close to 70% of its total schedule, and another 80 have already been dropped off the schedule for Tuesday.
Travelers flying in Europe will not only have to deal with cancellations from SAS but a number of other carriers who are also continuing to cancel large numbers of flights.
British Airways recently announced that it was cutting 13% of its total schedule through October because of staffing issues and strikes by workers' unions.
Lufthansa, one of the largest airlines in the world by almost every metric, also announced plans this week to cut more summer flights, including an additional 770 that will be announced this week.
Air France-KLM said over the weekend that it expects to drop 20 round-trip flights in Europe every day through the end of August in order to relieve “pressure on staff at Schiphol and KLM.”