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SAS pilots strike for hot meals

Published torsdag 25 februari 2016 kl 16.24
Johan Nilsson / TT
Elisabeth Holming-Schiller from the Swedish Aviation Industry Group. Credit: Johan Nilsson / TT

Some Scandinavian Airlines pilots are striking, in part, because they aren't able to eat hot meals. 

Flights from Arlanda to Ronneby and Åbo to Wasa were cancelled Wednesday, and there's no end in sight to the dispute.

Tuesday night pilots in the Svensk Pilotförening (The Swedish Airline Pilots Association) who work in a British staffing agency announced the strike. Among other things the pilots are demanding that they be able to eat hot meals on the ground during long shifts.

"Many times the food issue is resolved by offering pilots food onboard the aircraft. But then you have cold food on these relatively small planes. They don't have ovens, and it's not so easy to heat food without an oven," said the lead negotiator, Elisabeth Holming-Schiller who also serves as the CEO of the Swedish Aviation Industry Group.

The question of hot meals is not trivial. When and where pilots eat affects flight times, staff schedules, how long planes are grounded, and when passengers can disembark or board.

Swedish Radio news reports that the issue could even result in a new collective agreement between Svensk Pilotförening and the British staffing company Global Employer Company, which hires out cabin crew and pilots to the discount airline Flybe, which in turn shares workers with SAS.

There are no guesses as to when the conflict may be settled. Tommy Larsson, a negotiator for Pilotföreningen, told newswire TT earlier in the day that Scandinavian customers might face comprehensive delays and cancellations.

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