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Airline cancels 709 flights, 54,000 passengers affected

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Scandinavian airline SAS cancelled 709 flights on Thursday, affecting 54,000 passengers, while mediated talks continued between pilots and employers in Norway.
Norway’s national mediator has since on Wednesday met with SAS pilot unions representing almost 1,500 pilots in Denmark, Norway Sweden and employer organisations.
The talks had run for over 21 hours, but the mediator has not set a deadline.
“The situation is still very entrenched and there is a sizeable gap between the parties,’’ Mats Wilhelm Ruland, Norway’s national mediator, told reporters on Wednesday.
“We have not given up but it is very challenging,’’ he added.
The strike entered its seventh day on Thursday.
The labour action, ongoing since April 26, has resulted in over 4,000 cancellations and affected about 380,000 passengers.
SAS pilots want compensation for wage cuts and other concessions they made in 2012 when the company was in financial dire straits.
More predictable work schedules were another demand from the unions.
Flights in the Nordic region and those to European and long-haul destinations were disrupted.
SAS advised passengers to check the SAS website for details of cancellations.
About 30 per cent of flights operated by SAS subcontractors were not affected; the use of subcontractors has also concerned unions.
SAS management and analysts have said SAS was not in a position to meet the wage demands, citing the tough economic environment for the airline industry.

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