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SAS pilots in Norway, Sweden and Denmark to strike after talks break down

Some 900 pilots from airline SAS in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, are set to hold strike action after the company and the pilots' unions failed to reach an agreement before Monday afternoon's deadline. Some 45,000 passengers could be affected daily.

An SAS aircraft
SAS pilots in Norway, Sweden and Denmark will go on strike. File photo: an aircraft of the Scandinavian airline (SAS) parked on the tarmac at the airport of Manchester in England. Photo by Christof Stache / AFP.

Scandinavian airline SAS and pilots’ unions in Norway, Denmark and Sweden have failed to reach an agreement to prevent a strike, meaning 900 pilots will go on strike this week.

“How on earth is a strike in the busiest week of the last two-and-a-half years going to help us find and attract investors,” SAS chief executive Anko van der Werff told reporters, criticising what he called a “strike culture” among pilots.

SAS and unions had set a deadline of midday Monday to strike a deal. The strike comes after the two parties agreed to extend the deadline for talks several times in the hopes of coming to an agreement.

The pilots are employed by SAS’s parent company, SAS Scandinavia, and announced strike action because they are unsatisfied with their salary and working conditions.

“We deeply regret that our customers are affected by this strike, leading to delays and cancelled flights,” van der Werff said in a statement.

In addition, the pilots are dissatisfied that instead of re-employing old SAS pilots, priority is given to hiring new pilots on cheaper agreements in the two subsidiaries, SAS Link and SAS Connect.

The airline says that 30,000 passengers a day could be affected and 50 percent of all flights could be affected. It is unclear how long the strike will last. Swedish newswire TT reports that as many as 45,000 passengers could be affected. 
 

Pilots will begin striking once they return to the airport they operate out of. SAS said that it expected all pilots to be out on strike within 24 hours. 

Travellers can check the status of their flight and the likelihood of it being cancelled here. An information centre for affected passengers has been set up at Oslo Gardermoen Airport by SAS and Avinor, which operates Norwegian airports. 

READ MORE: What can SAS passengers do if their flight is affected by pilots’ strike?

Member comments

  1. What is happening here is a disgrace.
    SAS pilots had an agreement whereby a promise to be reinstated of they lost their jobs during the pandemic. This promise was to run for 5 years.
    Other European airlines, like mine, Air France, where pumped gazillions of euros by the state. Just like Lufthansa did, many were invited to leave with a hefty financial incentive, all the while SAS was throwing 40 % of its workforce on the street.
    Then, forget the agreement, SAS starts hiring new pilots in an Irish working agreement kind of shell, of course much cheaper.
    And one is surprised to see these guys striking ?
    Pilots do not have a strike culture, tu they get mighty cranky when one’s word isn’t kept.
    What is happening is this CEO own making.
    You did it……gave the music now.

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BREAKING

Sweden to set aside 30 billion kronor to lower energy bills

The Swedish government wants to introduce 'high-price protection' to lower energy bills, with state-owned energy authority Svenska Kraftnät setting aside at least 30 billion kronor of energy profits to do so.

Sweden to set aside 30 billion kronor to lower energy bills

“Today we have a very important message,” Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said in a press conference announcing the measures.

“We want to introduce high-cost protection for current high energy prices,” she said.

She blamed energy prices on Russian President Vladimir Putin and his war on Ukraine.

“We’re not going to let Putin hold Swedish households and businesses to ransom,” she said.

Svenska Kraftnät, a state-owned energy authority, expects to have funds of around 60 billion kronor in so-called “bottleneck income” next year.

The government wants those funds to be returned to households and businesses, with Svenska Kraftnät ordered to pay at least 30 of the 60 billion kronor back to households.

It will be up to the authority to determine how the money will be given back to consumers. According to the government, it could be used to lower energy market prices, but could also be given to consumers as direct compensation.

The goal is to provide more compensation to those companies and households hardest hit by high energy prices, meaning that the measures are likely to be aimed towards households and companies in southern Sweden.

It’s not yet clear when repayment will occur, but Energy Minister Khashayar Farmanbar said the government wants it to be “as soon as possible”. Compensation for last winter’s high energy prices was proposed in January and paid out four months later.

“It’s a repayment of those fees households and businesses have already paid, which we believe they have the right to,” Finance Minister Mikael Damberg said.

Svenska Kraftnät owns the main grid responsible for transporting electricity between different parts of Sweden. The 60 billion kronor bottleneck revenue Svenska Kraftnät is expected to earn by the end of next year is financed by so-called capacity fees paid by power companies and regional grid owners.

“Svenska Kraftnät are not supposed to be collecting piles of money,” Damberg said.

Capacity fees are levied when there are price differences between different parts of the country due to deficiencies in transmission capacity. Recently, those revenues have become unexpectedly high.

The EU’s electricity market regulations determine how the money can be used, for example, for investments, repairs, maintenance or lowering grid tariffs.

During the spring, the government has been in contact with the European Commission, which has now announced that governments may use the funds for emergency measures to benefit households and businesses.

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