Scandinavian Airline SAS files for bankruptcy after pilots strike

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  • European carrier Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States on Tuesday.
  • The move comes after 1,000 pilots voted to strike on Monday, forcing SAS to cancel half of its flights.
  • SAS pilots’ union chief Roger Klokset said the company never intended to strike a deal with the pilots.

It’s been a tough week for European carrier Scandinavian Airlines.

Tuesday, SAS announcement it had voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States – just a day after 1,000 of its pilots left work.

According to US courtsChapter 11 bankruptcy gives a business time to reorganize its debts and assets while continuing to run its business.

In the case of SAS, the cash-strapped airline is undergoing a $3 billion restructuring plan that will focus on overhauling its fleet, reducing debt and raising capital. which will take 9 to 12 months. The carrier said it is not uncommon for international airlines to use the court-supervised process.

“The process we have begun will allow SAS to continue its more than 75-year legacy as an integral part of Scandinavian infrastructure and society,” said SAS Chairman of the Board, Carsten Dilling. “We are confident that the actions we are taking will strengthen SAS’s ability to seize the significant opportunities ahead as the industry continues to recover from the pandemic.”

SAS said there would be no flight cancellations due to the deposit. However, after the SAS pilots’ union voted in favor of the strike on Monday, the carrier was forced to cancel 51% of its scheduled flights, according to flight tracking website FlightAware. The strike will affect 30,000 passengers a day, SAS said.

As of press Tuesday, SAS had canceled 236 flights, or 78% of its flights, per FlightAware.

The strike comes after negotiations over pay and working conditions for pilots failed. The union warned of a strike on June 9 after sending a notice of dispute to the company, but the two sides failed to reach an agreement. Roger Klokset, head of the SAS pilots’ union, responded to the Chapter 11 filing, saying the company never had “intended to enter into an agreement with the SAS pilots”. the Washington Post reported.

SAS CEO Anko van der Werff called the strike “devastating” and “reckless” on Monday, but admitted the move sped up Tuesday’s Chapter 11 filing.

“I am confident that this process will allow us to become an even better airline for our customers and a stronger business partner in the years to come,” he said in a statement. “Becoming a more competitive airline will require the efforts of the whole team and the sharing of burdens by all stakeholders. We urge the SAS Scandinavian pilot unions to end their strike and engage constructively in part of this process.”

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