SAS pilot strike hits 70,000 passengers on first day

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By Alastair Jamieson
Thousands of passengers have been affected by the SAS pilots' strike
Thousands of passengers have been affected by the SAS pilots' strike   -  Copyright  REUTERS   -   REUTERS

At least 70,000 passengers have been hit by cancelled flights at the start of a three-day strike by pilots at Scandinavian airline, SAS.

More than 670 flights - 70 percent of the carrier's schedule - were scrapped on Friday across Norway, Sweden and Denmark, spokeswoman Freja Annamatz told Euronews.

The walkout, which follows a wage dispute, could disrupt some 170,000 passengers in total over the weekend.

Labour unions had earlier this month called for 1,500 SAS pilots to go on strike if no agreement was reached on wages and other issues after an earlier round of talks failed to bear results..

"The two sides were too far apart, and there was no reason to believe that a compromise could be reached," the office of the National Mediator of Norway said in a statement announcing the breakdown of the Norwegian talks.

A Danish mediator told Reuters talks had broken down there too, while SAS earlier announced a strike among its Swedish pilots.

"As a consequence of the strike, domestic, European and long-haul flights have been cancelled ... Flights operated by SAS Ireland and airlines that are subcontractors of SAS will not be affected," the airline added.

Annamatz urged customers to check its website for updates because 30 percent of flights were still operating.