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SAS

Swedish pilots fail to reach deal with SAS

A deal between Swedish pilots and Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) is being automatically extended a week at a time after the agreement ended at midnight on Tuesday.

Swedish pilots fail to reach deal with SAS
Negotiations between Swedish pilots' unions and SAS are ongoing. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Meanwhile, their Danish counterparts penned a new deal with SAS at the eleventh hour.

"Together with the Danish Pilots' Association, we have taken a great step forward and signed an agreement that reflects today's competition in the market," said SAS CEO Rickard Gustafson in a press release.

"Negotiations have been long and at times intense, but they have always been constructive and carried out in a good tone. SAS wishes to keep the Scandinavian model, with deals on effective and competitive conditions. The demands are necessary and essential to maintain our Scandinavian work places," Niels Møller, chairman of Danish pilots' union DPF added.

SAS has previously said it wants to simplify the current, very detailed, agreement. The company also wants greater flexibility to appoint seasonal workers. Current staffing levels are adapted to the summer season, when the airline carries more passengers, which creates higher costs during the not as busy winter months.

The company said its ambition is to sign similar deals with its Swedish and Norwegian pilots, but had by midnight on Tuesday failed to come to an agreement.

The deal with Swedish pilots' unions will now continue to be extended on a weekly basis until June 1st at the latest, unless either party terminates it before then.

“This gives the parties a bit of breathing space to find a solution,” Tommy Larsson of pilots' union 'Svensk pilotförening' told news wire TT.

The union has so far not wanted to comment on its own position.

“I can't say anything else at present. Negotiations are ongoing and we will see where they head,” Larsson told TT.

Earlier this month, both SAS and Norwegian pilots went on strike in Scandinavia to protest their wages and conditions.

Norwegian — Europe's third-largest budget airline — struck a deal with pilots after an eleven day walkout affecting around 200,000 passengers.

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SAS

SAS announces reduced loss and pins hopes on summer flights

Scandinavian airline SAS narrowed its losses in the second quarter, the company said Thursday, as it set its hopes on an easing of coronavirus restrictions this summer.

SAS announces reduced loss and pins hopes on summer flights
A SAS aircraft taking off in Paris. Photo: Charles Platiau/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The earnings report came a day after the governments of Sweden and Denmark announced another round of aid to the ailing carrier.

From February to April, SAS booked a net loss of 2.43 billion Swedish kronor ($292 million, 240 million euros) — 30 percent smaller than in the second quarter last year.

The company also reported an improved operating profit “for the first time since the pandemic’s outbreak, both year-on-year and compared with the previous quarter,” pointing to its cost cutting efforts.

However, the number of passengers in the period declined by 140,000 compared to the first quarter, to 857,000.

This caused revenue to fall to 1.93 billion kronor, a 15 percent drop from the preceding quarter and 63 percent from a year earlier.

“The increase in vaccination rates provides some hope for the relaxation of restrictions, and an increase in demand ahead of the important summer season,” chief executive Karl Sandlund said in a statement.

However, the CEO also noted that “many customers are now increasingly choosing to book their tickets much closer to their travel dates, which makes it difficult to predict demand during the summer.”

SAS also said it expected claims from passengers of up to 150 million kronor after a European court ruled in March that customers should be compensated over disruptions due to a pilots’ strike in 2019.

After cutting 5,000 jobs last year — representing 40 percent of its workforce — SAS announced Wednesday an additional credit line of three billion kronor from the Danish and Swedish governments, its main shareholders, to get through the crisis.

The airline received a similar loan and a capital increase last year.

READ ALSO: Virus-stricken airline SAS secures new public loan from Denmark and Sweden

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