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SAS pilot unions delay strike for three days of extra talks

Sweden’s pilot union has agreed to postpone the strike planned for Wednesday by three days in the hope of striking a last minute deal with the SAS airline.

Pictured are SAS aircraft in Oslo Airport.
Photo: Mosvold Larsen/AFP

The strike, due to start on June 29th, has been pushed forward until just after midnight on July 1st, to provide time for extra negotiations with the Scandinavian airline’s management over a new collective bargaining agreement. 

After weeks with intensive negotiations over a new agreement between SAS leadership and 1,000 of the airline’s pilots, both sides are now willing to continue discussions, pushing back the deadline by three days. 

“SAS and the Norwegian pilot union are in agreement that we will continue negotiations for three days,” Norwegian national mediator Mats Wilhelm Ruland said. “There’s been intensive work towards finding a solution.”

Karin Nyman, Swedish press officer for SAS, said that the company was glad to have been given more time.

“It means above everything else that our customers will be able to travel over the next few days,” she told Swedish newswire TT.

Martin Lindgren, chairman of the Swedish SAS branch of the Swedish Air Line Pilots Association (SPF), would not comment on the content of the negotiations, but said that it was worth continuing to try and reach an agreement.

“We feel a great responsibility towards both SAS and our members, but above all towards our passengers,” he said in a press statement.

“Although we have gone to great lengths to come to an agreement, many issues remain unsolved. The strike can only be avoided if SAS show a real will to meet us. As of now, we’re choosing to give the other side yet another chance to do that.”

The airline’s Danish press officer, Alexandra Kaoukji, wrote in a statement to Danish newswire Ritzau that mediators believe “there is a possibility of reaching consensus” on a new agreement between the airline and pilots.

“The new 72-hour deadline means that our passengers will be able to travel,” she told the newswire. “We’re very happy about that. Our hope is therefore that we can find a solution and that passengers will not be affected.”

Nyman was also hopeful that both sides would be able to come to an agreement without resorting to strike action.

“We can only state that we’ve had constructive talks in recent days in our negotiations, and obviously the mediators have then made the assessment that there is a chance of reaching an agreement,” she said.

Pilots are unhappy that SAS is hiring new pilots on cheaper contracts in their two subsidiaries, SAS Link and SAS Connect. If the two parties cannot come to an agreement, up to 30,000 SAS passengers could be affected per day, the airline said on June 27th.

Member comments

  1. I am booked on an SAS flight San Fransisco to Copenhagen, July 4. I discovered news of the potential strike purely by accident – not once has SAS contacted me. Now that I know, at least I can be prepared, and my fiancee in Sweden knows not to make any plans until I actually get there. I’m shocked that SAS apparently has no obligation to keep their passengers informed. This is abysmal customer service. Sadly, SAS is the only carrier offering a direct flight on this route.

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CARLSBERG

Danish brewer Carlsberg posts loss after Russia exit

Carlsberg reported a loss for the first half of the year on Wednesday as the Danish brewer's decision to exit Russia hit its bottom line despite surging sales.

Danish brewer Carlsberg posts loss after Russia exit

Russia accounted for nine percent of Carlsberg’s profits last year, but the group decided to sell its operations there, joining a foreign business exodus following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and Western sanctions against the country.

The group booked losses totalling 5.3 billion kroner ($721 million) in the first six months of the year.

But the company reported a 23 percent increase in revenue to 35.4 million kroner over the same period, pushed up by its Carlsberg and Tuborg brands.

Despite the loss, Carlsberg CEO Cees’t Hart said the group’s half-year results were now “well ahead” of pre-pandemic levels.

“We’re very satisfied with the strong set of results for the first half year in light of the severe challenges stemming from the war in Ukraine, rising commodity prices and energy costs, and the pandemic,” Hart said in a statement.

But he warned that “global uncertainty remains high”, with rising costs posing a challenge in coming quarters as inflation soars worldwide.

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