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New Pilot Agreements Clear the Skies Ahead for SAS

SAS has signed a new simplified agreement with SAS Norway Pilot Association, SNF, after entering a new agreement with the Danish Association DPF on 31 March, which results in the airline having established agreements with over half of its pilot corps.

These two associations have also established a tripartite agreement with the airline on joint career paths within SAS.

Key elements of the agreements include staffing assurances pilots, and reduced complexity, and cover SAS’ need to act quickly to market demand. This is a new simplified agreement, based on more modern terms, and the new conditions that apply in aviation.

“Now that we have reached agreement with both SAS Norway Pilot Association, SNF, and the Danish pilot union, DPF, we have taken another big step forward, and we have agreements that reflects today’s competitive environment,” says Rickard Gustafson, SAS. “Through a constructive dialogue, we have reached this agreement that is so important for SAS. These negotiations also confirm that we take joint responsibility with pilot unions and SNF have shown that they want to be involved in ensuring Scandinavian jobs and a future for pilots at SAS.”

The new agreement has a term of two years, effective from 1 April 2015.

SAS also intends to enter into new simplified agreements with the two remaining unions, Swedish pilot union, SPF, and Norwegian SAS pilots’ association, NSF.

The airline further states: “Existing agreements have been renegotiated for the past 50 years, and their complexity and scope made negotiations difficult.”

Nordic legacy airlines have felt the heat from labor unions in recent years as they try to keep up with Low-Cost Carrier competition, but have successfully negotiated terms in line with maintaining a competitive edge and established rational products and routes.

The legacies are not alone. Norwegian has also faced strong labor action in recent months, and local labor unions have protested the ongoing expansion of Ryanair in Copenhagen.

SAS reported a slight dip in load factor during its most recent financial reporting, compensated for by higher fares.


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