“When you negotiate as intensively as the parties are now, you must expect that you start to approach a result,” said Sydbank aviation analyst Jacob Pedersen, Danish newswire Ritzau reported.
Previously, negotiations were put on hold at night and resumed the following day, but this time, the parties saw reason to continue negotiations overnight and into Sunday morning.
This indicated that an agreement could be imminent, Pedersen said, although he said he could not predict a timeline for this.
“I have no other good suggestions other than it must be close. Whether it will be Sunday, Monday or maybe Tuesday is more of an open question,” he added.
About 1,000 SAS pilots from Denmark, Norway and Sweden have been on strike since Monday, July 4th when talks over conditions related to the airline’s rescue plan broke down. In recent days, negotiations have resumed.
The pilots are protesting against salary cuts demanded by management as part of a restructuring plan aimed at ensuring the survival of the company, and the firm’s decision not to re-hire pilots laid off during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Axed pilots have had to compete against external applicants for jobs at SAS subsidiaries SAS Link and SAS Connect on less favourable terms than at the main airline SAS Scandinavia.
SAS is in major financial difficulties, exacerbated by the pandemic, and is working to implement a cost-saving plan called SAS Forward to provide annual savings in the billions of Swedish krona.
According to Pedersen, it is crucial for SAS to reach an agreement soon.
“This strike must end as quickly as possible for SAS,” he said, explaining that they were losing money quickly and that their reputation with leisure travellers was also suffering huge damage.
“It’s important to get the planes in the air as soon as possible,” he added.
The strike has cost SAS up to 130m kronor a day, with 62 percent of SAS’ scheduled flights cancelled on Sunday, according to flight-tracking platform FlightAware.