SAS profits fall back

Scandinavian airline SAS has reported profits of 536 million kronor in the third quarter, down from 851 million in the same period last year, despite a record number of passengers.

Turnover at the company increased to 16.8 billion kronor from 16.3 billion kronor.

“Unfortunately, the year has been characterized by several negative events that have affected our customers and employees, as well as having a negative impact on earnings. However, I am convinced that we will be stronger for this experience,” wrote CEO Mats Jansson in the report.

The airline said it expected the number of passengers to increase on most markets in 2007.

The final quarter of 2007 will be negatively affected by costs associated with taking the company’s accident-hit Dash Q400 fleet out of service. This is expected to cost the company between 400 million and 500 million kronor, including loss of income and fixed costs.

“We are now working intensively to deploy replacement capacity in various forms. We expect to be able to commence implementation of a long-term solution during the second half of 2008,” said Jansson.


‘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.