Scandinavian air pilot strike is over after thousands of canceled SAS flights

Airline SAS announced Thursday that it reached an agreement with unions in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, ending a pilot strike that forced thousands of flights to be canceled. SAS said it expects traffic to “normalize over the next few days.”

SAS said the union agreements regard salaries, scheduling and job security. It also indicated agreements that had been canceled previously are being reintroduced.

Rickard Gustafson, the airline’s CEO, said in a statement that the new agreements — set to last three years — “are on par with the industrial benchmark for the Swedish labor market.”

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to all those SAS employees who have worked day and night to help our customers in this difficult situation,” Gustafson said.

The SAS Pilot Group — which represents 95% of pilots across the three Scandinavian countries — announced the deal in a separate statement. The deal must be voted on by union members. The unions could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

SAS estimates that the strike affected around 360,000 travelers and led to more than 4,000 canceled flights. Flights operated by SAS partners, which make up about 30% of routes, were unaffected.

European airlines, including SAS, have come under pressure from rising fuel costs, volatile currencies and overcapacity.

– Lianne Kolirin contributed to this report.

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