SAS AB, the scandinavian airlines, failed to negotiate a labor agreement with its pilots and is now facing a debilitating strike that coincides with the airline’s restructuring strategy as well as traffic mayhem throughout European airports.
“A strike at this moment would be terrible for SAS and would jeopardize the company’s future as well as the employment of thousands of colleagues,” the airline warned in a statement on Monday.
After failing to secure a new collective labor agreement in the spring, unions representing approximately 1,000 SAS pilots warned last month that they would strike during one of the airline’s busiest times of year. SAS, whose debt has risen as a result of the epidemic, is also attempting to acquire funding for a $3 billion financial rescue, which would include finding new equity investors and turning current debt into shares.
For weeks, European travel has been disrupted as airports in Paris, London, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt have canceled swaths of flights due to labor shortages and strikes. According to Sydbank estimates, a pilot strike might cost SAS up to $9 million a day.
“We are ready to begin mediation as soon as possible, and we will do all necessary to establish a feasible agreement to safeguard the company’s long-term competitiveness and financial sustainability,” SAS Chief Executive Officer Anko van der Werff stated.
The airline said that rebooking clients impacted by canceled flights will be “very restricted,” and that it would instead give refunds or tickets at a later date.
On Monday afternoon, SAS shares plunged as high as 12.3 percent in Stockholm.