More than 1,200 SAS flights cancelled, affecting 110,000 passengers

Mediated talks with the SAS pilot unions representing nearly 1,500 pilots broke off early Friday without an agreement, triggering the strike.

Almost 600 flights have been cancelled and thousands of passengers have been stranded and the strike is now in its fourth day. The strike started Friday, there were 673 canceled flights on Friday, 326 canceled flights Saturday, and 587 canceled flights Sunday, over 64,000 passengers are affected on sunday alone.

Since then, some 170,000 passengers have been affected.

SAS on Sunday apologized to the 110,000 passengers that would be affected by the decision and advised them to check the SAS website for details of cancellations and passenger rights.

While the airline is an important link across Scandinavia, it also has long-haul worldwide flights to the US and Asia.

The CEO of the airline, Rickard Gustafson, told Reuters that the pilot walkout had negatively impacted the company's business, which is part-owned by the governments of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.

"Many SAS pilots have no control over when and how long they have to work".

The airline industry's employer body in Sweden has said pilots sought a 13 per cent wage hike despite what it called already high average wages of $9,777 a month, demands it labelled as "extreme".

Mr. O'Leary said at the time that Ryanair had been speaking with owners of airports in Sweden regarding the possibility of his airline maintaining connectivity in the region, with the inference that there was concern SAS may not survive. But rising fuel costs, volatile currencies and overcapacity among European airlines has put pressure on carriers, including SAS.

The strike at SAS does not affect flights operated by its partners, which make up roughly 30 percent of all departures.

Analysts at Sydbank have estimated that the strike is costing SAS 60-80 million Swedish kronor per day, which would effectively wipe out the airline's expected net profit for the year were it to last two weeks.