In a press release published on Thursday, the SAS Pilot Group, an umbrella group for Danish, Norwegian and Swedish pilot unions, said that it had proposed to SAS’s management that some of the 900 pilots on strike would go back to work over the weekend to bring back the charter flight passengers.
According to the unions, the proposal would require SAS to “withdraw the lockout it has imposed on the pilots”.
“We assume that SAS will be willing to take its responsibility by not, with the help of other airlines or strike breakers, flying down new passengers to these destinations,” the union wrote.
SAS agreed to the proposal on Friday evening.
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Thousands of charter passengers from Sweden, Denmark, and Norway risk being stranded this weekend, after pilots went on strike on Monday after delivering them to their destinations last weekend.
Karin Nyman, SAS’s head of communications, said that the pilots had made their offer after the airline had once again asked pilots not to include pilots flying charter flights in the strike.
“We have requested an exception for charters right from the start, which is a reasonable request to make,” she said. “Charter passengers find it very difficult to rebook their journeys if they become stranded, and that is something the pilots are still refusing. Now it’s reached the point where they want us to fly down with empty planes and fly back with the passengers.”
The pilots say they will refuse to fly out new passengers to charter destinations as then there is a risk they, too, will be stranded.
Last night, 200 Danish airline mechanics, who are members of the Dansk Metal union, launched their own strike in sympathy with the Danish pilots. SAS’s jets need to be serviced every third day, meaning SAS’s remaining jets could be grounded if an agreement is not reached.