Nordic travel chaos as Norwegian axes more flights

International pilot body tells pilots around the world to refuse to fly Norwegian
Another day of travel chaos looks set to hit thousands more passengers across Scandinavia. Low-cost carrier Norwegian has cancelled almost all of its flights in Sweden, Norway and Denmark today as a damaging pilots’ strike continues.
Flights between the Nordics and the UK, the US and Thailand are not affected, the company says, but as around 700 pilots further the stakes, most domestic and Scandinavian routes are not operating. The airline says it is doing all it can to keep other routes within Europe running.
The pilots want to keep a collective agreement to safeguard their jobs and standardise salary conditions. They rejected Norwegian’s surprise move yesterday splitting its subsidiary Norwegian Air Norway (NAN), which employs the pilots, into three parts for Sweden, Denmark and Norway and transferring its pilots to the new subsidiaries.
“What has now happened changes nothing,” leader of the union Parat, Hans-Erik Skjaeggerud, told the news agency Reuters. “We mean that CEO Bjorn Kjos cannot do what he has now done. As an employer he has no authority to decide over employees who are on strike.”
More than 100,000 passengers have been hit by the strike so far, and today it will affect 35,000 more, The Local says. Many have used social media to express their anger.
Meanwhile, the international pilot organisation Ifalpa is calling on pilots around the world to refuse to fly aircraft hired by Norwegian to break the strike, Norway’s Aftenposten newspaper reports.
“The number of pilots without permanent employment contracts in airlines is increasing, and Norwegian is exploiting this by sending pilots on flexible contracts into the strike area of Scandinavia,” Fanie Coetzee, Ifalpa’s vice president, said in a letter to members.
The Local
[photo courtesy Norwegian]