SAS cancels Sunday flights

Scandinavian Airlines System cancelled most Sunday flights to, from and within Sweden as a cabin crew strike dragged into a third day, SAS said in a statement.

The Swedish arm of the airline said that negotiations with its employees “have not yet led to an agreement.”

It added however that all direct flights to and from the United States and Asia were operating as scheduled, as were those operated by the Danish and Norwegian sections of SAS.

Spokeswoman Ulrika Fager said that some 200 flights in all would be cancelled on Sunday, affecting around 13,000 passengers.

Nearly 100 flights were already cancelled on Saturday.

Some 800 crew members walked off the job Friday after negotiators failed to reach an agreement over terms and conditions linked to SAS’ offer of a 10.2 percent pay rise over three years.

The cabin crew union, which belongs to the Swedish Salaried Employees’ Union (HTF), is calling for improvements in working conditions including changes in staff meal times.

Fager said negotiations were continuing on Saturday, adding that a large amount of money and customer confidence were at stake.

“The future of SAS Sweden and the SAS group is at risk, and consequently the future of maybe 3,000 HTF members,” Anders Ehrling, SAS Sweden’s chief executive, has warned.

SAS reported a loss in the first quarter of the year, and each day of strike action is estimated to cost the company more than 20 million kronor ($2.92 million) not including possible passenger compensation.

In the event that the dispute continues, HTF has agreed not to strike during the peak holiday period from June 11 to August 12, and to exempt SAS charter traffic.

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