SAS pilots support wage deal, won't resume strike

AFP / Christof Stache

Swedish, Danish and Norwegian pilot union members have voted in favour of adopting the collective bargaining agreement reached with airline SAS last month and will thus not resume their strike, the labour unions said on Saturday.

SAS grounded some 3,700 flights during a crippling 15-day strike in July that left 380,000 passengers stranded.

In Denmark, 93 per cent of pilot union members voted in favour of the deal.

"I am incredibly happy about the great support for the agreement, not least when we have been through such a long and tough conflict," said Henrik Thyregod, chairman of the Danish pilot union.

"The members have clearly understood the gravity, and this shows how strong the unity is among the pilots," he said.

Long-struggling SAS filed for U.S. bankruptcy protection on the second day of the strike and estimated the industrial action cost it more than $145 million (AED 533 million) during what is normally the profitable peak summer travel season.

The deal includes lower wages and longer hours for the pilots but also a commitment from SAS, whose biggest owners are the governments of Sweden and Denmark, to rehire pilots laid off during the pandemic.

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