Airline SAS cancels 1200 more flights as pilot strike drags on

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Scandinavian airline SAS canceled more than 1,200 flights scheduled for Monday and Tuesday as a pilot strike that has disrupted the travel plans of hundreds of thousands of passengers entered its third day on Sunday.

SAS pilots went out on strike on Friday as wage talks broke down, grounding around 70 percent of the airline’s flights and impacting about 280,000 passengers including the latest cancellations.

“We deeply regret that our customers are affected by the ongoing pilot strike when SAS now cancels flights on Monday and Tuesday,” the airline said in a statement.

The deadlock in the dispute showed no sign of being broken early on Sunday with both SAS, Swedish and Danish pilots unions and Norway’s employers association NHO saying no renewed contacts between the parties had been initiated.

The carrier created after World War 2, which remains part-owned by the Swedish and Danish governments, has said it was prepared to return to negotiations but warned that agreeing to pilots’ demands would seriously damage the company.

Sydbank analysts have estimated the strike costs the airline 60-80 million Swedish crowns per day, a rate which would wipe out the expected net profit this year in just two weeks.

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