March 9, 2015 / 1:36 AM / 5 years ago

Norwegian Air cancels Monday flights as strike drags on

Parked Boeing 737-800 aircrafts belonging to budget carrier Norwegian Air are pictured at Stockholm Arlanda Airport March 6, 2015. REUTERS/Johan Nilsson/TT News Agency

OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian Air Shuttle, Europe’s third biggest budget airline, cancelled dozens of flights scheduled for Monday as talks with striking pilots failed to yield a compromise, it said on Sunday.

Norwegian said it would cancel all domestic flights in Norway and Sweden, some flights within Denmark, and most flights between the three Scandinavian capitals, as the strike enters its tenth day. About 25,000 passengers will be affected.

However, it plans to operate its long-haul routes and most flights originating or arriving in cities outside Scandinavia, it said in a statement.

The main point of contention is that the airline’s 650 Scandinavian pilots want a collective agreement with the parent group instead of the current deal with its Norwegian Air Norway subsidiary.

They argue that the deal is needed to stop the airline from giving jobs to lower paid pilots from Asia and Spain, thereby “importing” lower wages to Scandinavia, a region with some of the world’s highest salaries.

The firm has rejected these demands as well as accusations of social dumping, and has instead offered to employ pilots through separate local subsidiaries in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

The sides have not come closer to a deal, despite intervention from state mediator, but said they would continue to negotiate through Sunday night.

Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Tom Heneghan

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