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SAS and pilots’ union set for more talks as strike enters 11th day

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SAS planes at Oslo Gardermoen airport

SAS planes at Oslo Gardermoen airport

SAS planes at Oslo Gardermoen airport

A pilots' strike at SAS that has affected hundreds of thousands of holiday travellers entered its 11th day on Thursday as unions and the airline were set to continue talks over a new collective bargaining agreement.

The parties resumed talks on Wednesday that broke down on July 4 but they were unable to reach a deal, with negotiations set to resume on Thursday.

"(The talks) have stopped for today and will continue tomorrow," said a spokesperson for Dansk Metal, the union representing Danish SAS pilots, on Wednesday evening.

Long-struggling SAS has said the strike at the height of its peak season is costing $10m to $13m a day while at the same time it needs to slash costs and attract new investors to survive.

The pilots employed in decades-old SAS Scandinavia, a subsidiary of SAS Group, have said they would agree to limited wage cuts and less favourable terms. SAS has said the concessions are not enough for it to successfully implement a large rescue plan announced in February.

Unions are also demanding that pilots let go during the pandemic are rehired at SAS Scandinavia, rather than having to compete with external applicants for jobs at newly started SAS Link and Ireland-based SAS Connect.

The carrier, whose main owners are the governments of Sweden and Denmark with stakes of 22pc each, had on Thursday cancelled 201 flights, or 64pc of those scheduled, according to FlightAware.

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