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European travellers hit as SAS airline cancels more flights

European travellers hit as SAS airline cancels more flights

Nearly 600 flights have been canceled and thousands of passengers stranded on the evening of a pilots hit at Scandinavian Airlines the carrier quotes has affected some 170,000 passengers.

SAS pilots went on strike on Friday amid a deadlock in talks on wages, as the company has been cutting costs in a move to compete with regional low-priced airlines such as Norwegian Air and Ryanair.

SAS pilots in Norway, Sweden and Denmark joined the strike on Friday after wage negotiations collapsed.

"Due to the strike another estimated 64,000 passengers will be affected when 587 flights are cancelled across Scandinavia". "On Tuesday 49,000 passengers and 546 departures will be affected". Unaffected are about 30 percent of flights operated by SAS subcontractors or partners.

Scandinavian media is reporting that the airline will deem the strike out of its control and therefore not compensate customers who may be eligible to make claims under European consumer laws.

But the Swedish Confederation of Transport Enterprises insists it can not accept a demand for a 13-percent wage increase, given their "already high average wage of 93,000 kronor (8,766 euros, $9,769) a month". It said that it is ready to resume the negotiations, however, it warned that meeting the demands of the pilots would have awful consequences for the company.

"Many SAS pilots have no control over when and how long they have to work".

The flag carrier of Denmark, Norway and Sweden on Sunday announced further flight cancellations as the parties failed to resume talks on a new collective bargaining agreement.

Pilots Association said that work schedules, but not wages, was the center of attention talks, as most pilots have SAS replacement schedules. In an interview with CNBC International in October previous year, Chief Executive of Ryanair Michael O'Leary spoke of upcoming over-capacity in the European market over the winter season and cited Norwegian and SAS as possible bankruptcy candidates.

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