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SAS

FlyMe London tickets go on sale

Low-cost airline FlyMe has started ticket sales for its new service from Stockholm to London. The company, which will start flying the route in August, plans to take on British Airways and SAS in the competition for business travellers.

FlyMe, which will operate five days a week to London Gatwick Airport from October, is the first low-cost airline to fly from Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport to one of London’s main hubs. The only other budget airline to fly the Stockholm-London route is Ryanair, which flies to London Stansted from Skavsta Airport, 100 kilometres outside Stockholm.

Ticket prices will start at 695 kronor, with the average ticket likely to cost between 1,000 and 1,500 kronor. The company says that on busy flights the most expensive tickets will probably sell for up to 2,500 kronor. The company points out that this is still cheaper than the traditional companies, which sell tickets for peak-time flights at up to 7000 kronor.

The new service will be aimed at Swedish business travellers, with early morning flights from Stockholm and return flights in the evening. But Anders Holst, CEO of FlyMe, says he hopes the new service will also prove popular with other groups.

“The slots that we have negotiated at Gatwick will naturally appeal first and foremost to business travellers, but we hope too that leisure travellers who don’t want to travel out to Skavsta or Stansted will be interested,” he told The Local.

“We are also going to market the service to British travellers, primarily through travel agents,” he said.

FlyMe’s focus up to now has been on domestic flights in Sweden, although the company operates a route from Stockholm to Helsinki as well as summer flights to Nice.

Now the company has revealed that it could launch lines to other destinations in Europe.

“It is something we are thinking about, and we have considered a number of routes,” said Holst.

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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