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Pilot strike grounds 18 SAS flights in Norway

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Pilot strike grounds 18 SAS flights in Norway
The SAS strike is having a limited impact on passengers in Norway. Photo: Johan Nilsson / TT / NTB scanpix
08:58 CEST+02:00
SAS is cancelling 230 flights on Monday, including 18 to and from Norway, after mediators failed to break a deadlock between pilots and the airline.
A strike by Swedish SAS pilots that began on Friday will impact an additional 27,000 passengers on Monday, including well over 2,000 in Norway. 
 
“A total of 2,350 passengers are affected by the cancellations. Those affected should have received an SMS about it and there ill be updated information on SAS.no under ‘flight status',” SAS press officer Cathrine Sandegren told NTB.
 
The affected flights are between Stockholm Arlanda and Oslo Airport. Twelve SAS flights with Norwegian personnel are scheduled to operate as normal on Monday and the carrier's Norwegian press contact, Knut Morten Johansen, said the company is trying to minimize the strike's impact on Norway-based travellers. 
 
“We can often find solutions. The conflict is therefore only affecting our Norwegian customers to a small extent, provided that they are not flying to or from Sweden,” he told NTB.  
 
The Swedish pilots' walkout over wages has already stranded 50,000 passengers and cost the carrier millions.
 
On Sunday, SAS cancelled 220 flights by Swedish pilots, affecting 26,000 passengers. On Friday and Saturday, another 24,000 passengers were stranded by cancelled flights.
 
Flights operated by Danish and Norwegian pilots were running as normal.
 
Striking pilots and employer representatives returned to the negotiating table Sunday, but talks broke down in the early hours of Monday morning.  
 
Norway-based SAS pilots had also threatened to strike last week but the union representing 435 Norwegian SAS pilots came to terms with the carrier on Thursday.
 
The walkout comes during peak travel season, and has hit charter group hard. SAS said it had not calculated how much money it was losing because of the strike, but financial analysts estimated it was costing the airline at least $1.2 million a day.
 
For more on the striking Swedish pilots, see The Local Sweden
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