COPENHAGEN, May 1 — Negotiations have resumed between Scandinavian airline SAS and its striking pilots, a mediator said today, as hundreds more flights were cancelled due to the strike action which has affected nearly 350,000 passengers.
It is the first time both sides have sat down together for talks since SAS pilots walked off the job in Sweden, Denmark and Norway on Friday demanding better pay and conditions, though they met prior to the walkout.
“There are discussions underway in Oslo. They concern the three countries,” Jan Sjolin, a spokesman for the Swedish National Mediation Office, told AFP.
SAS meanwhile cancelled 280 flights that had been scheduled up to 2:00pm (1200 GMT) Thursday, affecting 20,000 passengers.
That brings the total of cancelled flights to 3,500 since the stoppage by 1,409 pilots hit domestic, European and long-haul SAS flights.
The Swedish Air Line Pilots Association, which initiated the strike, has said that months of previous talks had failed to result in a solution to pilots’ “deteriorating work conditions, unpredictable work schedules and job insecurity”.
It added that work schedules, not wages, are the SAS pilots’ main gripe as most have to work at variable times and days and sometimes several weekends in a row.
After almost going bankrupt in 2012, SAS has implemented repeated savings programmes in recent years to improve its profitability. — AFP