Busiest weekend of the summer expected at Norwegian airports 

The busiest days of the year for Norwegian airports are expected on Friday and Sunday, with plenty of traffic and passengers also anticipated on the roads, trains and ferries. 

Pictured is a plane in the air above Oslo Gardermoen.
A busy travel weekend is expected in Norway. File photo: A plane in the air at Gardermoen airport near Oslo. Photo by AFP / Hakon Mosvold Larsen / Scanpix.

Just under 100,000 passengers will pass through Oslo Airport on both Friday and Sunday, with lots of passengers expected to pass through Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger as well, newspaper VG reports. 

Despite a busy weekend expected and an ongoing air technician strike, Avinor, which operates the country’s airports, has said it is well prepared to deal with a large volume of passengers. 

“We are well prepared. We are an organisation with 2,800 staff at 43 airports that are trained to handle large numbers of passengers, so we look forward to doing a good job for all travellers and all airlines,” Joachim W. Andersen, communications manager for Avinor, told newspaper VG

Communications manager Andersen said that travellers should follow the information and advice they receive from airlines. 

“Fortunately, the Norwegian airlines are good at communicating with the passengers, and very often they (customers) are informed well in advance before they travel to the airport that the flight has been cancelled,” Andersen said. 

“You should show up when it is recommended by your airline,” he added. 

Mediation talks between the Norwegian Aircraft Technician Organisation (NFO) and employer organisation NHO Luftfart resumed on Friday morning in the hopes of finding a solution to the current air technician strike. A lockout has been announced by NHO Luftfart which will commence on Sunday if an agreement isn’t reached

READ ALSO: Why flight problems could continue in Norway after the aircraft technician strike ends

Busy travel weekend expected across the country

For those heading on their holidays domestically, plenty of traffic is expected on Norwegian roads and at ferry ports. 

The north especially is expected to see a lot of ferry traffic, particularly around Lofoten, Senja and the North Cape. 

In the south, people are encouraged to avoid the roads on Friday afternoon and instead drive on Saturday. 

Trains on the Bergen Line and busses to Gothenburg, Stockholm and Copenhagen also have a lot of bookings over the weekend. 

Åge-Christoffer Lundeby, communications manager at VY, has asked travellers to pack smart. 

“People should pack in two bags and not bring seventeen carrier bags,” he said. 

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SAS strike affected 380,000 passengers in July

More than 3,700 flights where cancelled and 380,000 passengers where affected by the 15-day strike which hit Scandinavia's SAS airline last month, the company has revealed.

SAS strike affected 380,000 passengers in July

“We sincerely apologize to our customers who were affected by the July strike,” Anko van der Werff, the company’s chief executive, said in a press release. “We are happy operations returned to normality again allowing us to start regaining our customers’ trust.”

According to the release, 1.3 million passengers travelled with the airline in July, which was still a 23 percent increase on the same month last year, when Covid-19 restrictions were still reducing tourism levels.

“In comparison with last month, the total number of passengers decreased with 32 percent and capacity was decreased by 23 percent, which was a result from the 15-day pilot strike,” the release read. 

Pilot unions in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, went on strike for 15 days last month over pay, conditions, and the company’s refusal to rehire pilots laid off during the Covid-19 pandemic on the same terms as before. 

The strike, which cost the airline between €9m and €12m a day, was ended on July 19th, after which it took several days to get flights back to normal

Van der Werff said company said it would now continue putting in place its restructuring plan, SAS FORWARD, and push ahead with restructuring in the US, where the company has filed for Chapter 11. 

He said these would both “accelerate the transformation process that will lead to a financially stable airline, that will be able to deliver the service our customers are expecting”.