SAS facing millions in EU fines: report

Scandinavian airline SAS is set to be fined by the European Commission for its role in a global air cargo price-fixing cartel, according to media reports.

SAS facing millions in EU fines: report

SAS Cargo, a subsidiary of SAS Group, one of twelve airlines involved in the case, must pay €70 million ($97.6 million) out of a total of €800 million in fines levied on the 12 airlines involved in the case, according to the French daily Le Monde.

Air France-KLM was ordered to pay €340 million while fines for British Airways came to around €104 million.

“This is speculation and unconfirmed information. We can’t comment on speculations,” said SAS spokesperson Elisabeth Manzi to the TT news agency.

SAS plans to issue a press release as soon as the European Commission publishes its ruling, which is expected to come sometime on Tuesday.

The ruling follows a three year investigation launched after regulators complained that SAS, Air France-KLM Group, British Airways, and several other airlines had worked together to fix prices in the global air cargo market.

In 2008, SAS Cargo admitted to US authorities it has a role in forming a price-fixing cartel which violated US competition laws and paid a fine of $52 million.

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‘We agree to disagree’: Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

By lunchtime on Friday, talks between the Scandinavian airline SAS and unions representing striking pilots were still stuck on "difficult issues".

'We agree to disagree': Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

“We agree that we disagree,” Roger Klokset, from the Norwegian pilots’ union, said at lunchtime outside the headquarters of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise in Stockholm, where talks are taking place. “We are still working to find a solution, and so long as there is still some point in continuing negotiations, we will do that.” 

Mats Ruland, a mediator for the Norwegian government, said that there were “still several difficult issues which need to be solved”. 

At 1pm on Friday, the two sides took a short break from the talks for lunch, after starting at 9am. On Thursday, they negotiated for 15 hours, breaking off at 1am on Friday morning. 

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on the SAS plane strike?

Marianne Hernæs, SAS’s negotiator on Friday told journalists she was tired after sitting at the negotiating table long into the night. 

“We need to find a model where we can meet in the middle and which can ensure that we pull in the income that we are dependent on,” she said. 

Klokset said that there was “a good atmosphere” in the talks, and that the unions were sticking together to represent their members.

“I think we’ve been extremely flexible so far. It’s ‘out of this world’,’ said Henrik Thyregod, with the Danish pilots’ union. 

“This could have been solved back in December if SAS had not made unreasonable demands on the pilots,” Klokset added. 

The strike, which is now in its 12th day, has cost SAS up to 130m kronor a day, with 2,550 flights cancelled by Thursday, affecting 270,000 passengers.