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FINANCIAL WOES AT SAS

SCANDINAVIAN

SAS tickets still selling amid passenger concern

Despite a flurry of worried phone calls from travellers, ticket sales for Scandinavian airline SAS continued to sell on Tuesday as many passengers ignored the airline’s current financial turbulence.

SAS tickets still selling amid passenger concern

Travel agency Ticket announced on Tuesday that it had seen little difference in sales despite the savings plan launched by SAS on Monday.

“There have been no mass cancellations or a stop in sales. People are doubtful, but we’re still selling SAS tickets,” explained Martin Durnik of Ticket to the TT news agency.

However, the travel agency admitted that it had received a number of calls from concerned passengers who were fretting about the airline’s potential bankruptcy.

“There’s no general rule, it depends on what kind of ticket you’ve booked and how you’ve booked it. If it’s a packaged deal, you’re more protected,” he said.

“No one is saying that SAS is not going to continue flying,” he added.

After rumours of bankruptcy circulating for weeks, SAS announced on Monday that the company planned to slash 3 billion kronor ($445 million) in costs through salary reductions and other measures which include shedding nearly 6,000 jobs through divestments and staff cuts.

SAS CEO Rickard Gustafson dubbed the plan SAS’s “final call” in avoiding bankruptcy.

Gustafson was in Copenhagen on Tuesday to discuss the company’s crisis plan; however Danish cabin staff chose to boycott the meeting.

The Danish staff members are expecting some 400 of the predicted job cuts to be solely in Denmark, stating that the company’s handling of the problems clashes with the Danish model.

TT/The Local/og

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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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