SAS: The pilots are not on strike anymore, investors are wanted – business

flight chaos? Just ask the Scandinavians before you complain the next time: they had a double portion for two weeks – just right to start your vacation. In addition to the staff shortage related to the Crown and the ensuing queues at the airports, the pilots of SAS, the largest airline in the north, also went on strike for 15 days, until Tuesday morning.

The result: 3,700 flights that were often canceled in a short time, 370,000 passengers and still hundreds of Danes, Swedes and Norwegians were stuck somewhere far away. Trains and long-distance buses to the rest of the continent were also hopelessly busy as a result of the strike, and anyone looking for a relaxing break is best off by bike.

Tuesday morning news: SAS is on a full fleet again. Then when all parked planes are ready, which can take up to two days. The news of an agreement between the pilots and Scandinavian Airlines managers was received with great relief, and the stocks immediately surged in the stock market, but that was not enough to cause great joy. The anger among customers is too great for that, and so is the concern for the future of the sick airline.

The strike was triggered by the service of those pilots who were released during the Crown pandemic. When they were fired, SAS executives promised them that they would be reinstated when needed again. With the rapidly increasing passenger numbers, the time has long come and SAS has indeed offered pilots new jobs: not with the parent company, but with the newly founded subsidiaries SAS Link and SAS Connect, for new, worse conditions. Management attempt to cut costs – and a broken promise to pilot associations in Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

The SAS chief apologized to the passengers

And when the president of the Danish Pilots Association, Henrik Thyregod, told TV2 on Tuesday morning that the negotiations were “incredibly difficult” but was “pleased” that the planes would soon be able to take to the air, then this was especially the case at this point in the deal: management promised to bring back the 450 fired pilots back to the parent company.

According to the Danish media, however, the pilots made significant concessions to this victory. TV2 said pilots agreed to a 25 percent wage cut and that the workload could be increased from the current 47 hours a week to 60 hours. The agreement is valid throughout Scandinavia for the next five years.

SAS boss Anko van der Werff apologized to the passengers. SAS from the past two weeks “is not the SAS we want to be”. Customers and urgent potential investors were discouraged. You will “work hard” to regain your lost trust.

That it will not be so easy, that there will probably not be a return to the time when Scandinavian Airlines was a source of pride in the Nordic countries, a poll showed during the strike. A third of Danes polled shrugged that they did not consider the survival of the airlines particularly important – unlike their Finance Minister Nicolai Wamten, who explained again last month how important SAS is, especially to the Danes. Copenhagen is an economy and air center.

Society is perceived as outdated and sluggish

Danish and Swedish countries are still involved in SAS, but are no longer willing to inject another billion into an airline that has recently had a large deficit. The pandemic was only the final blow to SAS. It has long been considered obsolete, bulky and digitally backward, and cheap competition has made it difficult for the company. Dutch boss Anko van der Werff therefore presented an ambitious restructuring and savings program last year. He wants to renegotiate seemingly overstated contracts with leasing companies and attract new investors.

The first step in reducing staff costs was apparently taken thanks to Tuesday’s agreement. But now there was “much more difficult negotiation” with creditors and potential investors, the paper wrote Jyllands Posten. “The pilots’ strike is over,” commented the conservative Berling. “SAS problems are far from there.”

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