Sweden flights severely disrupted as SAS pilot strike hits day four

The industrial action began Friday, when talks between the pilots' union and SAS broke down, leading the union to call its 400 pilots out on strike. All nine grounded flights are between Copenhagen Airport and Stockholm Arlanda.

The Stockholm-based airline said planes with Danish and Norwegian pilots are not affected.

Around 20,000 passengers were stranded on Saturday after Scandinavian airline SAS cancelled 159 flights due to a Swedish pilots' strike and warned of another 220 flight cancellations on Sunday.

According to the statement, the majority of flights involving Swedish pilots will be canceled.

"It is deeply regrettable that our passengers have been affected by this conflict", says Karin Nyman, the communications head at SAS.

The carrier said that another 240 flights and 25,500 passengers would be affected tomorrow (Tuesday June 14), following a failed bid by mediators to end the dispute. The company said, "We know that many still have to wait in line".

The Swedish Pilot Union rebutes accusations of holding the passengers hostage for the negotiations, and uphold the fairness in their demands because of the wage cuts pilots have agreed to in conjunction with SAS's economic problems in previous years.

The employers' organisation however said that the pilots' overall demands, including employment contracts offering greater job security, would entail a 10 percent cost increase.

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) reports a double-digit increase in passengers as does rival Norwegian.

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