Agreement with pilots puts SAS deal close at hand

Airline needs to strike deal with cabin crews in Denmark and Norway before its restructuring can go forward

November 19th, 2012 7:29 am| by admin

After all night negotiations, SAS pilots in Denmark, Sweden and Norway agreed this morning to a 10 percent wage reduction and an 8 percent increase in their working hours with the management. The airline now needs to land deals with cabin attendants’ unions in Denmark and Norway in order to be able to go ahead with a restricting plan aimed at keeping the airline flying.

“They are still negotiating, but one of our demands is that they agree to the overall savings plan,” said Trine Kromann-Mikkelsen, a SAS spokesperson.

Analysts said they expected a deal to fall into place this morning, but SAS has denied reports that it set a 9am deadline, coinciding with the opening of stock markets, for the unions to agree to a deal.

SAS had given employee groups in all three countries until Sunday to agree to an average 12 percent wage reduction and extended working hours as part of its bid to save 2.8 billion kroner annually. The airline also plans to cut 800 administrative jobs company-wide.

A handful of its SAS's Scandinavian departures have been cancelled this morning. Some media have reported that the cancellations were due to “personnel-related issues” but the airline itself said at least one of the cancellations was due to a “technical problem”.