DALLAS – SAS Scandinavian Airlines (SK) has canceled approximately 4,000 flights for the months of May, June, July, and August.
The cancelations were confirmed by the airline’s press officer, John Eckhoff, to the Norwegian online business newspaper E24. Originally, 75,000 SAS flights were planned for the three-month time span. This means that more than 5% of the carrier’s flying schedule will be reduced this summer.
Eckhoff told the Norwegian news outlet that travelers who were affected would be rebooked to the nearest flight and that, for most people, that would be on the same day.
Staff Shortages Riddle the Industry
Echoing the cause of the recent summer flight cancelations seen in Europe and in the US, Eckhoff explained that SK’s flight offer reduction was due to “both a shortage of personnel and to some extent also delays in deliveries of aircraft.”
The press officer emphasized that the cancelations must be viewed in light of the current situation in international aviation, as well as the issues associated with upscaling following the epidemic.
SAS is in financial trouble and has reduced the number of pilots significantly due to the pandemic. The organization has also undergone structural modifications. According to aviation24.be, the airline has, among other things, established a subsidiary where fired pilots and cabin crew must reapply for work at the airline.
Bringing back Flight Crews
Eckhoff noted that many have gone through safety training or refresher courses in a simulator and that there were many who had been hired since the pandemic-related layoffs.
However, in an e-mail to E24, Roger Klokset, leader of the Norwegian SAS Pilots’ Association, claims that 450 pilots that were laid off during the pandemic are still unemployed. He believes that recruiting fully new pilots takes significantly longer and that “lights and lanterns” are currently being sought throughout Europe to fill courses.
Scandinavian Airlines System, more commonly known and styled as SAS, is the flag carrier of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The airline serves over 280 destinations across Scandinavia, Europe, Asia, and Finland.
Featured image: Scandinavian Airlines System. Photo: Darryl Sarno/Airways