STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

20,000 stranded as SAS pilots strike for second day

Around 20,000 passengers were stranded after Scandinavian airline SAS cancelled 159 flights due to a Swedish pilots\' strike.

Published: 13th June 2016 04:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th June 2016 04:40 PM   |  A+A-

By AFP

Stockholm (Sweden):  Around 20,000 passengers were stranded on Saturday after Scandinavian airline SAS cancelled 159 flights due to a Swedish pilots' strike and warned of another 220 flight cancellations on Sunday.

"We have done all that's in our power to avoid a strike, but we have unfortunately been unable to come to an agreement. Our main priority now is to take care of our customers and (we) are working vigilantly to do everything we can to assist passengers affected," SAS spokeswoman Karin Nyman said in a statement.

SAS flights flown by Danish and Norwegian pilots were operating as normal throughout the weekend, she added.

Sunday's flight cancellations were expected to affect another 26,000 travellers.

At Stockholm's Arlanda airport, passengers hoping to rebook their cancelled flights stood in long queues at the SAS ticket counters.

Travellers Chun Yang, Milli Chiang and Jimmy Hsu from Taiwan told news agency TT they were surprised to learn of the strike when they landed in Stockholm en route to Finland.

"Now we have to try to organise our trip to Finland ourselves, our travel insurance from Taiwan won't cover the cost," Chun Yang said after five hours in line and still far from the head of the queue.

Anna Antell, who was to fly to Croatia with her husband and two children, had no sympathy for the striking pilots.

"They already have good salaries," she said.

The walkout comes during a peak travel season, and has hit charter groups hard.

"Many flights are of course fully booked, so the chances of rebooking a flight are not the best. We're doing what we can to help in the best way possible and find alternatives for our travellers," Nyman told TT.

The strike broke out Friday at 6:00 pm (1600 GMT) after the Swedish pilots union SPF rejected the mediators' proposal of a 2.2 percent wage increase, insisting instead on a 3.5 percent increase.

The employers' organisation however said that the pilots' overall demands, including employment contracts offering greater job security, would entail a 10 percent cost increase.

"We want our employees to feel secure in their jobs, but the pilots' wage demands are just too high. We can't afford to pay that much given the competitive (air travel) market," SAS chief executive Rickard Gustafson said Friday before the strike..

No date has been set yet for new negotiations.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp