Scandinavian Airlines Counts the Cost of Continuing Pilot Strike

May 1, 2019

It should have been the perfect way to celebrate Valborgsmässoafton, the festival that marks the beginning of Spring with bonfires across Sweden and a public holiday on May 1. However, for Ulf, a digital games developer, it was anything but as he stared gloomily at the departure board at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport, red with cancellations, including his own flight to Luleå. He’d tried to book a train but there were no more spaces the same day. “I guess we just go home,” he sighed.

The pilot strike by Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), involving pilots from Norway, Sweden and Denmark, has affected over a quarter of a million passengers so far and shows no sign of being resolved as it enters its sixth day. Analysts have estimated that the strike could cost SAS, which is part-owned by the Swedish and Danish governments, $10.5 million a day, threatening to wipe out the airline’s annual profit.

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