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Scandinavian airline to cancel hundreds of flights amid pilot strike, apologises to 72,000 affected travelers

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A Scandinavian airline is apologizing to passengers after a pilot strike forced the carrier to cancel more than 670 flights on Friday.

Scandinavian Airlines, also known as SAS, announced that the Swedish, Norwegian and Danish pilots’ unions have decided to strike on Friday, though the carrier claims it works “to come to a solution as quickly as possible.”

A total of 673 flights were canceled Friday, influence or effectively stranding 72000 passengers, according to the BBC.

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The dropout rate is about 70 percent of the SAS flights, as that is controlled by the carrier partners, as well as SAS Ireland, are still scheduled to fly, according to Bloomberg.

The pilots’ strike comes in the midst of the ongoing negotiations over schedules and wages, which began in March. The SAS Pilot Group is allegedly seeking a 13-percent increase in the salaries, but the airline has said that these requirements would have “negative consequences” for the carrier.

Passengers wait during a strike by Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) pilots on April 26, 2019 on the Gardamoen Airport, Oslo, Norway.
(Ole-Mountain-Rest/AFP/Getty Images)

In a press release, SAS Pilot Group, which represents 95 percent of the carrier, the Scandinavia on the basis of pilots, said deterioration of the working conditions and unfair plans were the main points of disagreement. The group has also confirmed that 1409 of its pilots were striking, in total.

“Many of the SAS-pilots today have no control over where, when and how long they should work. In the worst case, you can reduce the risk of working seven weekends in a row,” the union said in the introduction, by a translation.

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A representative for SAS was not immediately able to comment on the carrier of the plans for stranded customers.

In a video message for the passengers, SAS CEO Rickard Gustafson said the airline will “do everything we can to try to find a solution for you as a customer,” and “do everything in our power to end the conflict.”

Gustafson also said he regrets any troubles with the strikes have caused.

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The carrier is the lead of travelers to the website for more information about the strike, and urged them to the status of their flight before leaving for the airport. SAS is also offering refunds for affected passengers, and a voluntary rebookings for future travelers concerned about the ongoing strike.

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