SAS AB has had to cancel hundreds of flights, disrupting the travel plans of tens of thousands of passengers, after pilot unions across Scandinavia went on strike.

The development affects both domestic, European and long-haul flights, according to a statement on Friday. Some 673 flights will be canceled on April 26, affecting more than 72,000 passengers, the Stockholm-based operator of Scandinavian Airlines said.

SAS’ Scandinavian pilots have rejected measures proposed by a mediator. Talks have been going on since March, and SAS said it still “wishes to continue negotiations and reach an agreement to end the strike as soon as possible.”

The development underlines the pressure airlines continue to face in managing costs. Some budget flight companies in the Nordic region appear to be buckling under the strain, with Wow Air recently going out of business. SAS is facing price pressure on its home turf from Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, which yesterday sought to reassure investors it won’t tap markets for more equity in the next 12-18 months.

The strike by SAS pilots in Sweden, Denmark and Norway doesn’t include flights operated by SAS partners, which make up about 30 percent of all departures. Flights operated by SAS Ireland and airlines that are subcontractors of SAS will not be affected by the strike.

 

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Photo Credit: Shown here are passengers at Copenhagen Airport prior to the strike action. SAS had to cancel hundreds of flights, disrupting the travel plans of tens of thousands of passengers, after pilot unions across Scandinavia went on strike. SAS