Pilot strike costs SAS $68M, adds to pilling up losses

SAS estimates the impact from the previous pilot strike, lasting roughly a week, which includes the cost of over $68 million (650 million SEK), adding up to pilling losses in the second quarter of 2019.

SAS pilot strikes took place between April 26 and May 2, 2019. Now, the airline estimates “some” 4,000 flights were canceled as a result, affecting over 370,000 passengers. The impact included a $68 million hit, of which “at least”  $45 million (430 SEK) is reflective in unimposing Q2, 2019 financial results.

In total, SAS revealed a loss (before tax) amounting to $127.39 million (1,216 million SEK). Besides the strike, the airline also names increasing fuel price and Swedish krona weakening as negative factors, without which, it claims, “the result would have been comparable to the same quarter last year, which was one of the strongest second quarter in SAS’ modern history,” reads the statement on  May 28, 2019.

The six-day pilots strike began after mediation between SAS and pilots unions fell through on April 26, 2019. On May 2, 2019, SAS and four unions ‒ SPF (Svensk Pilotförening), NSF/NF (Norsk Flygerforbund), SNF (SAS Norge Pilotforening) and DPF (Dansk Pilotforening) ‒ agreed on new three-year collective bargaining agreements, the airline announced. “The agreements between SAS and the pilots’ unions concern predictability of scheduling, job security, and salaries,” SAS statement read at the time. “In addition, the previously canceled agreements concerning collaboration and career paths have been reintroduced”.

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