September 11, 2017 / 10:12 AM / 10 months ago

SAS airline aims to resolve pilots' strike before passengers affected

OSLO (Reuters) - Two pilots at Scandinavian airline SAS went on strike on Monday after wage talks at the carrier’s Norwegian operations broke down, but the company said it hoped to resolve the situation before a planned escalation this week.

An aircraft operated by Scandinavian airline SAS is brought into position at the Berlin Tegel airport November 12, 2012. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz/Files

The two unions negotiating on behalf of pilots said all their members, some 559 pilots, were scheduled to strike later this week unless a deal was found.

The company and its pilots had been unable to come to an agreement by an original Monday morning deadline, Norway’s state-appointed mediator said.

“The parties were so far apart that there was no basis for presenting a proposal that both sides could be expected to recommend,” mediator Nils Dalseide wrote in a statement.

No flights would be interrupted on Monday, SAS added.

“Pilots have announced an escalation that would impact traffic from Sept. 14 onwards. We absolutely aim to resolve this by then,” an SAS spokeswoman said.

Parat, one of the two unions representing Norwegian pilots, said SAS had been unwilling to match conditions for pay and work hours offered to colleagues in Sweden and Denmark.

While no new negotiations have been scheduled, Parat was open to resuming the talks at any time, a union spokesman said.

SAS is headquartered in Sweden and operates in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, serving destinations in Europe, Asia and North America.

Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Ole Petter Skonnord; Editing by Louise Heavens and Edmund Blair

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