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Aviation standstill as pilots strike

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Aviation standstill as pilots strike
09:04 CEST+02:00
All domestic and many international flights remain grounded in Sweden on Wednesday after 2,000 members of the Swedish Airline Pilots' Association (Svensk Pilotförening -SPF) were called out on strike over pay.

Up to 25,000 travellers are set to be hit by the strike action as flights across the country suffered delays and cancellations, as unions and employers broke off negotiations over a new collective pay and conditions deal.

"We are going to keep negotiating, and we hope to reach an agreement in the

end, but for the moment our positions are frozen," said Peter Jeppsson, director general of Flygarbetsgiverna, which represents Swedish air operators.

"All domestic flights and nearly all international flights (operated by Swedish air carriers including SAS) will be affected," with an estimated 25,000 travellers liable to be affected, Jeppsson told AFP.

Besides working conditions at regional airlines, the dispute also involves a proposal by Avia Express to hire pilots through an interim agency.

The strike action affects Avia Express, Avitrans Nordic, Golden Air and Svenska Direktflyg, whose pilots are on strike for the whole of Wednesday. The remainder of the union's pilots will strike from 5am to 1pm.

In total around 230 departures expected to be cancelled on Wednesday.

SAS will cancel 107 flights, affecting 13,000 passengers on mostly domestic routes with a couple of thousand also affected by the 5am-1pm shutdown.

Only air ambulance services and a handful of long-haul flights will be unaffected by the walkout.

Flights are continuing to run from Stockholm to Copenhagen and Oslo, and SAS is flying as normal to the USA.

Malmö Aviation has been forced to cancel 30 departures affecting 2,500 people.

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