Scandinavian airline SAS and pilots’ unions in Norway, Denmark and Sweden have failed to reach an agreement to prevent a strike, meaning 900 pilots will go on strike this week.
“How on earth is a strike in the busiest week of the last two-and-a-half years going to help us find and attract investors,” SAS chief executive Anko van der Werff told reporters, criticising what he called a “strike culture” among pilots.
SAS and unions had set a deadline of midday Monday to strike a deal. The strike comes after the two parties agreed to extend the deadline for talks several times in the hopes of coming to an agreement.
The pilots are employed by SAS’s parent company, SAS Scandinavia, and announced strike action because they are unsatisfied with their salary and working conditions.
“We deeply regret that our customers are affected by this strike, leading to delays and cancelled flights,” van der Werff said in a statement.
In addition, the pilots are dissatisfied that instead of re-employing old SAS pilots, priority is given to hiring new pilots on cheaper agreements in the two subsidiaries, SAS Link and SAS Connect.
Pilots will begin striking once they return to the airport they operate out of. SAS said that it expected all pilots to be out on strike within 24 hours.
Travellers can check the status of their flight and the likelihood of it being cancelled here. An information centre for affected passengers has been set up at Oslo Gardermoen Airport by SAS and Avinor, which operates Norwegian airports.