In Scandinavia canceled hundreds of flights: the reason


Scandinavian airline SAS cancelled almost 600 flights scheduled for Sunday as a pilots' strike entered its second day, disrupting the travel plans of tens of thousands of passengers.

Around 170,000 travellers were left stranded over the weekend, after pilots working for Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) went on strike over pay and unpredictable shift patterns. The effects will continue to be felt on Tuesday, by approximately 49,000 passengers, with 546 flights due to be canceled.

The strike at SAS does not affect flights operated by its partners, which make up roughly 30pc of all departures.

The CEO of the airline, Rickard Gustafson, told Reuters that the pilot walkout had negatively impacted the company's business, which is part-owned by the governments of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.

While the airline is an important link across Scandinavia, it also has long-haul worldwide flights to the US and Asia.

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Pilots Association said that work schedules, but not wages, was the center of attention talks, as most pilots have SAS replacement schedules.

It affected most domestic flights, as well as SAS European and Intercontinental flights.

The aviation industry's employer body in Sweden has said pilots demanded a 13 percent wage hike, despite what it called already high average wages of 93,000 Swedish crowns a month.

The flag carrier of Denmark, Norway and Sweden announced further flight cancellations for next week, as the parties have failed to resume talks on a new collective bargaining agreement. In an interview with CNBC International in October past year, Chief Executive of Ryanair Michael O'Leary spoke of upcoming over-capacity in the European market over the winter season and cited Norwegian and SAS as possible bankruptcy candidates.

Although the carrier forecast a full-year profit Sydbank on Friday predicted the strike would cost SAS 60 to 80 million kronor ($6 million to $8 million) per day.