SAS contract talks continue as pilots strike enters third week

(Bloomberg) – Scandinavian carrier SAS AB continued talks with pilot unions on Saturday over the strike that has shut down most of its flights during the peak holiday season and is about to enter a third week.

A SAS spokeswoman and a spokeswoman for the Swedish pilots union both confirmed talks were continuing on Saturday. Neither said whether the two sides were closer to an agreement.

The staff strike began on July 4 after negotiations over an improved pay deal failed with unions representing around 1,000 cockpit crew. SAS chief executive Anko van der Werff described the walkout at one of the busiest times of the year as “devastating”, and it is estimated to cost the airline up to 9 million dollars a day in refunds and lost ticket sales.

The carrier canceled hundreds of flights and the walkout helped the airline file for bankruptcy protection in the United States earlier this month.

SAS warns pilots’ strike jeopardizes emergency bridge funding

The largest airline in the Nordic region is currently locked in negotiations with investors over a bridge financing of up to $700 million as well as a $3 billion restructuring of its balance sheet involving new equity and the conversion of existing debt into shares.

The Swedish and Danish governments each hold a 21.8% stake in SAS after its bailout in 2020. While Denmark has said it is ready to increase its stake, the Swedish government has announced that it will agree to a conversion of the debt due to it in equity, but will not participate in a new capital increase.

©2022 Bloomberg LP

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