Scandinavian airline SAS seals deal to end pilots' strike


Stockholm (AFP)

Scandinavian airline SAS said Thursday it had reached an agreement with the pilots' union to end a week-long strike that has seen over 4,000 flights cancelled and left more than 380,000 passengers stranded.

"I'm relieved to inform our customers and employees that we can now put this conflict behind us," SAS chief executive Rickard Gustafson told a news conference in Stockholm late Thursday.

Gustafson hoped that normal operations would be resumed as soon as possible, but he said it could take up to 24 hours before the necessary arrangements could be made.

"There are a lot of planes and a lot of crews that are not in the correct locations right now," Gustafson said.

It's been nearly a week since 1,409 pilots in Sweden, Denmark and Norway walked off the job on April 26, grounding domestic, European and long-haul SAS flights.

The Swedish Air Line Pilots Association had called the strike over "deteriorating work conditions, unpredictable work schedules and job insecurity" for pilots.

It said Thursday that it had obtained a 3.5-percent wage increase for 2019, 3.0 percent for 2020 and 4.0 percent for 2021.