(Bloomberg) -- Scandinavian airline SAS AB failed to reach a labor deal with its pilots and now faces a crippling strike that coincides with the airline’s restructuring plan as well as traveling chaos across European airports.
“A strike at this point is devastating for SAS and puts the company’s future together with the jobs of thousands of colleagues at stake,” the airline said in a statement on Monday.
Unions representing about 1,000 SAS pilots warned last month they would walk out at one of the airline’s busiest times of year after failing to reach a new collective labor agreement in the spring. SAS, whose debt has mounted during the pandemic, is also working to secure backing for a $3 billion financial lifeline that involves finding new equity investors and converting existing debt into shares.
European travel has been in a state of chaos for weeks as airports in Paris, London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt are scrapping swathes of flights amid labor shortages and strikes. A pilot strike will cost SAS as much as $9 million a day, according to estimates by Sydbank.
“We are ready to resume mediation as soon as possible and we will do our utmost to reach an agreement that is viable to secure the long-term competitiveness and financial sustainability of the company,” SAS Chief Executive Officer Anko van der Werff said.
The airline said the possibility of rebooking customers affected by canceled flights would be “highly limited” and is instead planning to offer refunds or tickets for a later date.
The arline’s shares fell as much as 12.3% in Stockholm on Monday afternoon.
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