Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) Pilot Strike is Over!

Highlights of the new Pilot Agreement

The Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) pilot strike is finally over after seven days of turmoil for the airline.

Almost 360,000 passengers were affected by cancellations worldwide, with almost 4,000 flight cancellations.

Pictured above is the SAS-boss Rickard Gustafson, officially announcing that the strike is over and that an agreement with the SAS pilots had been reached (Photo courtesy: Captain Per Olsen).

Why did the SAS pilots end their strike?

As in any labor strike settlement, the company (SAS) and the pilots (unions) reached an agreement.

SAS strike over. Journalists in Oslo awaiting the announcement.
May 2, 2019: Journalists in Oslo, Norway awaiting the announcement that the pilot strike is over. (Photo courtesy: Capt. Per Olsen).

Here are the highlights of the new SAS pilot contract agreement, which ended the strike:

Scheduling and quality of life

Previously, only 40% of the pilot staff were guaranteed a certain time and days off from work. With the new contract, 60% of the pilots will get this much more stable and reliable schedule for private time off duty.

However, that still leaves 40% of the pilot workforce with a reserve (standby) schedule.

60% of the pilots now being able to have a better schedule will get to know their work schedule for the next month in the middle of the current month.

Seniority and job security

Two work-agreements that had previously expired have been re-entered into the new contract.

Pay increase

Pilots will get a pay increase of 3.5% in 2019, 3% in 2020, and a 4% pay increase in 2021.

The flexibility of route choices

Any airline pilot, including myself, can testify to the extreme beating your body takes from jet lag and other physiological factors when you fly long distance trans-oceanic flights.

Long-haul, long-distance pilots usually only fly long flights, let’s say in the 10 or more hour leg range. SAS’ new agreement will allow these pilots to fly short-distance flights as well as long-distance flights.

Previously at SAS, long-haul pilots were not allowed to fly short-distance flights.

Pilot Union comment

The SAS Pilot Union boss, Captain Christian Laulund says that the Union is pleased with their new contract, or the total benefits package overall.

When will normal traffic resume for SAS?

SAS expects the return to a normal schedule to take at least two days, maybe longer.

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