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SAS accuses Ryanair of airport fee fraud

Scandinavian airline SAS says Ryanair lies about the weight of its aircraft to reduce fees, giving the low-cost Irish carrier an unfair advantage over many of its increasingly irritated European colleagues.

SAS accuses Ryanair of airport fee fraud

In November 2012, SAS filed a formal complaint to Scandinavian aviation authorities alleging that Ryanair provides inaccurate aircraft weight figures to European aviation agency Eurocontrol, the Danish business newspaper Berlingske Business reported.

The take-off weight figures are used to calculate landing fees.

“We clearly don’t think it’s appropriate for Ryanair to circumvent the rules in order to get off cheaper, leaving us and other airlines that follow the rules to pay the bill,” SAS spokesman Lars Andersen told Berlingske Business.

Air France has also accused the budget airline of misreporting the take-off weight.

And in Germany, Ryanair is the subject of probe by civil aviation authorities who suspected the carrier has falsified aircraft take-off weight to the tune of €370,000 ($482,000) outstanding fees per year, the Die Welt newspaper reported.

In a statement issued to The Local on Monday, Ryanair refused to comment on the substance of the SAS allegations.

“Ryanair has a policy of not commenting on rumour or speculation. There is no truth to these claims. Ryanair’s 737 aircraft operate [at different certified weights] in full compliance with Boeing’s flex-weight programme, as certified and approved by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA),” spokesman Stephen Mcnamara said.

TT/The Local/dl

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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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