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Strike-hit SAS cancels 1,200 more flights on Monday and Tuesday

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By Alastair Jamieson  with Reuters
About 170,000 passengers have already been affected by the SAS strike.
About 170,000 passengers have already been affected by the SAS strike.

Scandinavian airline SAS cancelled more than 1,200 flights scheduled for Monday and Tuesday as an ongoing pilot strike that has hit tens of thousands of travellers dragged into its third day on Sunday.

Seventy percent of the airline's flights were grounded on Friday after wage talks broke down.

Since then, some 170,000 passengers have been affected.

“Due to the ongoing dispute, further cancellations are now being made on Monday and Tuesday,” the airline said in a statement Sunday.

"The strike will affect an additional 61,000 passengers on Monday when 667 flights are cancelled across Scandinavia. On Tuesday 49,000 passengers and 546 departures will be affected."

SAS has taken steps such as offering free food to passengers waiting to find alternative flights at airports. The carrier, which is part-owned by the Swedish and Danish governments, has said it is prepared to resume negotiations but warned that meeting pilots' demands would have dire consequences for the company.

The aviation industry's employer body in Sweden has said pilots demanded a 13% wage hike, despite what it called already higher-than-average wages of around €8,700 a month.

The SAS Pilot Group, a union body representing 95% of the airline's pilots in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, says that the dispute concerns more than simply wages, pointing to demands for more predictable and transparent working hours.