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Mouse stops US-bound SAS flight in Stockholm

A wayward mouse forced the grounding of a US-bound SAS flight on Tuesday, leaving 250 travellers stranded at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport as crews tried in vain to capture the rogue rodent.

Mouse stops US-bound SAS flight in Stockholm
The mouse pictured here is not the mouse mentioned in the article

Shortly before the scheduled 10.30am take off of the Chicago-bound Airbus 330, a security guard spotted the mischievous mouse scurrying across the floor of the aircraft.

“Unfortunately the mouse has not been found and caught, despite an extensive search onboard and numerous mouse traps placed inside the aircraft,” SAS press officer Malin Selander told The Local on Tuesday afternoon.

“Due to safety concerns SAS has decided to ground the aircraft until the mouse has been caught.”

Airport officials may resort to using smoke to force the mouse out of the plane, for fear that it will get into the electronics and gnaw them apart, a witness told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

However, Selander told The Local that a decision about deploying extra measures to remove the mouse from the aircraft has yet to be taken.

As the search for the meandering mouse continues, the airline is struggling to rebook the 250 passengers left stranded due to the incident.

American travellers James Roach and Marie Alswager told The Local they have been waiting more than five hours in a line that is moving “six feet an hour”.

“Spirits [among stranded travellers] are understanding,” said Roach.

As the Airbus 330 is among the largest aircraft in the SAS fleet, finding a replacement has been difficult.

“This kind of incident has not happened to SAS before, but we are now aware that similar incidents have happened to other airlines,” said Selander.

A rodent running amok was the cause of the cancellation of two Delta Airline flights between New York and London in November 2009.

Although the current situation at Arlanda remained unresolved several hours after the mouse was discovered, Selander stated the airline sees no need for revising future safety measures.

“SAS already have an extremely high level of security precautions and checks, and do not foresee the need to improve these further,” she said.

Struggling to cope with the slow-moving line for re-booking, Roach employed a bit of hyperbole in an effort to make light of his predicament.

“This is the most expensive mouse in the history of humankind,” he joked.

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SAS

‘We agree to disagree’: Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

By lunchtime on Friday, talks between the Scandinavian airline SAS and unions representing striking pilots were still stuck on "difficult issues".

'We agree to disagree': Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

“We agree that we disagree,” Roger Klokset, from the Norwegian pilots’ union, said at lunchtime outside the headquarters of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise in Stockholm, where talks are taking place. “We are still working to find a solution, and so long as there is still some point in continuing negotiations, we will do that.” 

Mats Ruland, a mediator for the Norwegian government, said that there were “still several difficult issues which need to be solved”. 

At 1pm on Friday, the two sides took a short break from the talks for lunch, after starting at 9am. On Thursday, they negotiated for 15 hours, breaking off at 1am on Friday morning. 

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on the SAS plane strike?

Marianne Hernæs, SAS’s negotiator on Friday told journalists she was tired after sitting at the negotiating table long into the night. 

“We need to find a model where we can meet in the middle and which can ensure that we pull in the income that we are dependent on,” she said. 

Klokset said that there was “a good atmosphere” in the talks, and that the unions were sticking together to represent their members.

“I think we’ve been extremely flexible so far. It’s ‘out of this world’,’ said Henrik Thyregod, with the Danish pilots’ union. 

“This could have been solved back in December if SAS had not made unreasonable demands on the pilots,” Klokset added. 

The strike, which is now in its 12th day, has cost SAS up to 130m kronor a day, with 2,550 flights cancelled by Thursday, affecting 270,000 passengers. 

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