Published on May 29th, 2015 | by Jim Lee


SAS has signed an agreement with the Norwegian Pilot Union

On 28th May, SAS announced that it had signed what it described as “a new modern collective bargain agreement” with the Norwegian pilot union NSF. The negotiations were successfully concluded after a strike that lasted for seven days, but only involved 17 pilots. SAS has now agreed with all of its pilot unions on new collective bargain agreements that create conditions for future expansion. Job security, reduced complexity, and the need for SAS to act faster in relation to the demands of the market, have been central parts in the negotiations for a new collective bargain agreement with the pilot unions during this spring. The Norwegian pilot union NSF signed the agreement on 28th May and the agreement is in force for 1 year and valid from 1st April 2015, subject to a member voting.

Commenting on the breakthrough, Rickard Gustafson, President and CEO at SAS said: “To start with I would like to apologise to those customers who have been affected by the strike. We have now reached agreements with all four pilot unions that enable us to invest in the future and continue the positive development. The negotiations are also a proof that we, together with the pilot unions, jointly have taken responsibility for securing Scandinavian jobs and a future for pilots at SAS”. Latest reported figures show that SAS had 1,396 pilots. Its pilot block hours/year amounted to 685.

The introduction of the new collective agreements are part of a series of measures, implemented as par of a restructuring program, launched at the end of 2012. The aim of the programme was to achieve substantial cost savings and increased flexibility by rectifying fundamental structural efficiency barriers and to implement cost-efficiency enhancements of about SEK 3 billion (€320.24 million) during the 2013 – 2015 period. At 31st October 2014, (the date of the last annual report), most measures had been implemented and clear results were visible in the form of lowered unit costs, a more flexible cost base and increased productivity. These measures included:-

  • Transition to defined-contribution pension agreements
  • Centralisation and reduction in administrative functions
  • Restructuring of the sales organisation
  • Optimisation of the route network and resource planning
  • Restructuring of IT
  • Increased use of wet leasing
  • Outsourcing of certain ground handling services
  • Divestment of assets

SAS say that in 2014/2015, the remaining earnings impact of about SEK 0.3 billion (€32.02 million) will be realised. Over the period of its 2013/2014 annual report, the average number of employees in the SAS Group was 12,329. A breakdown of the average number of employees by country, show that there were 4,082 in Denmark, 3,762 in Norway, and 3,748 in Sweden.

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About the Author

Jim has had a life-long interest in military matters and aviation. Initially, he fused both of these interests together with a passion for military aviation, initially as a photographer. He has travelled extensively over the years and has been the guest of many European air forces, plus the air forces of the United States, Russia and others throughout the world. His first introduction to journalism coincided with an interest in the civil aviation industry was when he initially wrote for and later edited, ‘Aviation Ireland’, the club magazine of the Aviation Society of Ireland. Jim was a contributor to Flying in Ireland since its inception over 10 years ago and is now a key contributor to this site. He has also contributed items for a number of other aviation magazines and has produced a number of detailed contributions to Government policy documents, most recently the Irish Government’s White Paper on Defence. He is also deeply involved in the local community and voluntary sector and has worked both in local government and central government.

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