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SAS pilots’ strike grounds flights from Helsinki

SAS said that the strike would affect some 170,000 passengers’ plans during the weekend.

Norwegianin kone nousee Arlandan lentoasemalta, etualalla SAS:n koneita.
The airline said the strike will affect 170,000 passengers this weekend. Image: Johan Nilsson / EPA

A strike by Swedish pilots working for SAS airline has affected as many as 600 flights the carrier said on Friday. In Finland the industrial action has seen the cancellation of two flights that were originally scheduled to fly from Helsinki to Stockholm’s Arlanda airport, airfield operator Finavia told news agency STT.

The aborted flights were due to leave at 3.30 pm and 6.30 pm on Friday. Altogether four flights between Finland and Helsinki have been scrubbed following the strike action.

SAS is urging passengers to refer to its website for additional information about flight schedules. SAS said that it will try as far as possible to re-assign affected passengers to other airlines.

1,500 pilots, 170,000 passengers

The airline said that it will reach out to customers directly as long as their contact information is accurate and up-to-date.

SAS pilots went on strike after failing to see eye-to-eye with the employer on pay and other terms of work during overnight talks that began on Wednesday and continued past an agreed settlement deadline.

Earlier on Thursday night, SAS had said that had already cancelled flights in Denmark, Norway and Sweden in anticipation of the strike. According to the airline’s website some services departing from and returning to Finland were due to fly on Friday morning.

SAS said that the strike would affect some 170,000 passengers’ plans during the weekend. Meanwhile Swedish public broadcaster SVT said on Thursday that 1,500 pilots are involved in the protest action.

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