SAS reaches settlement over Dash plane problems

SAS has agreed to settle with Bombardier and Goodrich after a string of incidents in the fall of 2007 forced the airline to ground its entire fleet of Dash aircraft.

While details of the deal remain confidential, the deal will award SAS more than one billion kronor ($164 million) in cash and credits for future aircraft orders. As part of the agreement, SAS’s board has agreed to purchase 27 aircraft from Bombadier, with an option for up to 24 additional planes.

“We are very satisfied with the settlement with Bombardier,” SAS President and CEO Mats Jansson said in a statement.

The new aircraft will include the CRJ900 NextGen and the Q400 NextGen turboprop, which will replace the earlier operated Q400-fleet which SAS permanently grounded last fall.

The decision was made following an accident in October at Copenhagen Kastrup Airport in which a plane’s landing gear gave way. It was the last in a string of incidents that had occurred over several weeks.

The grounding of SAS’s entire Dash fleet cost the airline 700 million kronor.


‘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.