SAS and Pilots Union to Resume Talks, Another 240-Plus Flights Canceled Tuesdayby Daniel McCarthy /
Large-scale daily flight cancellations continue more than a week into the SAS pilot strike, however, hope for a resolution is growing.
According to Flightaware, 242 flights SAS flights were canceled on Tuesday, close to 75% of its daily schedule. That came a day after SAS canceled 250 flights, or 71% of its schedule. SAS has already canceled another 61 flights, or close to 20% of its schedule, on Wednesday.
Reports on Tuesday from Reuters citing union representatives suggested that SAS and the SPG union would resume negotiations on Wednesday, just a few days after the dispute, which stems from disagreements over pay and working conditions, seemed to intensify.
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.
According to reports, the strike is costing SAS $10 million to $13 million per day. SAS, which is the flag carrier of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, officially filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. last week in a move to cut its debt.
In a message to its travel partners, seen by, SAS said that it had “spent the last several months working to strengthen our financial position” and the bankruptcy filing will help it do that.
“SAS and certain of its subsidiaries have voluntarily filed for chapter 11, a legal process for financial restructuring in the U.S. that will enable us to implement key elements of our SAS FORWARD transformation plan,” it said in its message.