SAS and its pilots extend wage talks until Monday

Scandinavian airline SAS (SAS.ST) and its pilots have agreed to extend their wage talks until Monday in the hope of averting a strike, a company executive told reporters on Saturday.

Close to 1,000 pilots in Denmark, Sweden and Norway plan to strike if talks break down, according to the unions, which SAS had said could leave some 30,000 passengers stranded each day.

“We need to sleep, none of us have slept for a really long time,” SAS’ lead negotiator Marianne Hernaes told reporters after the latest round of talks which ran through the night.

A strike would comes at a difficult time for loss-making SAS as it seeks to restructure its business by undertaking large cost cuts, raising new cash and converting debt to equity as part of a plan to rescue the carrier from collapse.

Swedish daily Expressen had earlier reported, citing unnamed sources, that a deal had been reached, but SAS said the talks were still ongoing in the hope of averting a strike.