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SAS Update News: New Convention

SAS Update : Scandinavian Airlines pilots in Sweden, Norway and Denmark have cancelled a strike which was scheduled to last for 15 days and caused significant disruption, following an agreement between management and the pilots.

Scandinavian Airlines pilots in Sweden, Norway and Denmark early Tuesday decided to end the strike that had been disrupting the airline for 15 days following a settlement with management.

The airline has stated that the strike resulted in the cancellation of about 50% of SAS scheduled flights, and the effect of affecting thousands of passengers each day.

SAS Director Anko van den Werff stated that the two parties had come to an arrangement for the coming five and a half years, which will guarantee reductions in costs for SAS as also job security for pilots.

“I am delighted to announce that we have now reached an agreement with the four unions representing pilots at SAS Scandinavia and the strike is now over. We are now able to return to normal operations and take our customers on their long-awaited summer vacations. I am extremely disappointed that thousands of our passengers are affected by this strike.” Van der Werff wrote in a statement.

Around 900 pilots left the airline on July 4, complaining about inadequate conditions of work and pay, and expressed discontent with the airline’s decision to hire new pilots in order to fill vacancies in its subsidiaries carriers, SAS Link and SAS Connect instead of rehiring the pilots who had been laid off because of the pandemic.

“Pilots have made a significant breakthrough. About 450 pilots who were fired during the corona outbreak were guaranteed reemployment, and the pilot association’s collective agreements will also be applicable to the newly formed SAS Connect and SAS Link companies. SAS Connect and SAS Link,” the pilot association SAS Pilot Group said in an announcement.

SAS stated that the strike resulted to cancellations of over 3,700 flight impacting 380,000 passengers, saying the walkout cost between 100 and 130 millions Swedish dollars ($9.5-12.3 millions) each day, in lost revenue and expenses.

Discussions between the unions representing pilots as well as the airlines begun in November, with the intention of renewing the collective agreement which expired at the end of April. But months of negotiations were not able to reach an agreement.

The morning after the protests started and the company was in financial trouble, SAS sought protection from bankruptcy to the United States, saying the strike had placed the future of the airline in danger. SAS announced that it has willfully applied with Chapter 11 in New York which means that civil litigation has been placed on hold as the company reorganizes its finances.

Scandinavian Airlines is part-owned by the governments of Sweden and Denmark. In the year 2018 Norway had sold its stake in the airline, however it is still a debtor in the airline and has stated that it is likely to convert it into equity.

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