Scandinavian Airlines filed for bankruptcy in the US, canceled 200+ flights Tuesday

by | Jul 5, 2022 | Travel

Jan M. OlsenCOPENHAGEN, Denmark — Scandinavian Airlines on Tuesday filed for bankruptcy in the United States, warning a walkout by 1,000 pilots a day earlier had put the future of the carrier at risk.The move adds to the likelihood of travel chaos across Europe as the summer vacation period begins. SAS canceled hundreds of flights Tuesday, including services to New York (Newark) and Chicago. The Stockholm-based SAS airline group said it had “voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 in the U.S., a legal process for financial restructuring conducted under U.S. federal court supervision.”Filing for Chapter 11 in New York puts civil litigation on hold while the business reorganizes its finances.Traveling to Europe this summer?:’Prepare for the worst.’SAS said that its operations and flight schedule will be unaffected by the announcement, but the pilot’s strike, which is behind most of Tuesday’s cancellations, is also a factor behind the bankruptcy filing, according to SAS CEO Anko van der Werff.  “I think we have been very clear that this could happen,” he said.”The important thing is that this is about bankruptcy protection, it is not about a bankruptcy, but it is about financial reconstruction,” van der Werff said.The carrier said it is “in well advanced discussions with a number of potential lenders … to support its operations throughout this court-supervised process.”A rescue plan presented in February was aimed at securing long-term competitiveness. SAS shares dropped more than 9% to 0.56 kronor ($0.05) on Tuesday.Advice for travelers:What to do if your flight gets canceledThe pilots reacted strongly to the news of the Chapter 11 filing. Roger Klokset, head of the SAS pilots union, said the group “had stretched negotiations and mediation from November last year until the day before the application, without ever having the intention of entering into an agreement with the SAS pilots.”Story continues below.The pilots in Denmark, Sweden and Norway walked out on Monday, citing inadequate pay and working conditions and expressing dissatisfaction with the decision by the carrier to hire new pilots to fill vacancies at its subsidiary airlines, SAS Link and SAS Connect, rather than rehire former pilots who were laid off due to the pandemic.Van der Werff said the strike was “devastating for SAS and puts the company’s future together with the jobs of thousands of colleagues at stake.”By 3:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, more than 75% of SAS’ flights had been canceled according to FlightAware, which track flight information …

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