All Widerøe flights on the short-haul network have been stopped until 5 pm on Monday. At least 250 settings have been announced during Monday.
For several weeks, there has been disagreement between the Norwegian Aircraft Technician Organization (NFO) and NHO Luftfart, where the latter went out on Tuesday night and announced a lockout.
On the night before Sunday, the lockout came into force, which means that those aircraft technicians who have not already gone on strike will be banned from working.
450 aircraft technicians are thus not allowed to go to work.
Several airlines are now affected by the strike. On Monday, at least 250 flights have been canceled.
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Widerøe has the most settings. On Monday, more than 220 flights were canceled with the airline, according to VG’s flight special.
Widerøe’s communications manager Catharina Solli tells VG that the stop in traffic on the short-haul network will be extended to Monday afternoon.
“Today we will cancel the shortest flights on the short-haul network until this afternoon, but there is a high probability that all flights today will be canceled,” says Solli.
In addition to the shortest flights, some longer flights have also been canceled.
Widerøe is now working to find out if individual trips can fly through the evening on Monday. This means that some flights may go to the short haul and back to a major airport.
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Solli explains that the reason why so many trips are canceled at Widerøe is complex.
Firstly, Widerøe does not want to fly passengers out into the districts without being able to take them home. At the same time, it is more difficult to get crews and technicians out into the districts when the traffic can go as normal.
Therefore, the trips on the short-haul network are canceled.
But the large number of cancellations is also due to the fact that Widerøe has significantly more flights than, for example, SAS and Norwegian.
– One plane with us can have 26 flights every day, says Solli.
Only the right to a refund of the ticket
Widerøe will contact passengers continuously when they see that they will be affected by the cancellations.
– Do not contact us, we will contact you, says Solli.
Widerøe customers who have their flight canceled, will no longer receive rebooking or alternative transport. They also do not get food and accommodation covered.
According to Solli, Widerøe customers are now only entitled to a refund of the flight ticket.
– We no longer have the opportunity to rebook, offer alternative transport, meals and accommodation, she says to Bergens Tidende on Sunday.
– It is almost impossible to find places
According to VG’s overview of the flight situation in Norway and in the world, SAS canceled at least 25 flights on Monday. Most of them are traveling abroad.
According to Lars Wegelstorp Andersen, spokesman for SAS, however, this is not the merit of the lockout:
– We have not had any cancellations due to the lockout, but due to other reasons.
However, he points out that they are more vulnerable now in relation to unplanned incidents that may occur.
At SAS, they try to rebook passengers in the event of canceled departures, but this is not always possible.
– It is almost impossible to find places. We try as far as possible, but it is far from all we can rebook, says Wegelstorp Andersen in SAS to E24 on Sunday.
He points out that the vast majority of European aircraft are already full this summer.
At Norwegian, there are not as many settings. On Monday, at least two international flights have been canceled.
Norwegian press officer Andreas Jørnholm says that the airline had three cancellations on Sunday due to the lockout.
– It is clear that if the conflict continues, there will be consequences, and it will mean cancellations, Jørnholm says.
Those affected by canceled flights will be notified directly by Norwegian, either by text message or e-mail.
– If you hear nothing, you can go to the airport with expectations that the plane goes as planned, he says.
– If it concerns your departure, you will receive a direct message from us, he says.
On Sunday, national mediator Carl Petter Martinsen told VG that he has no plans to take any immediate initiative to get the parties back to the negotiating table.
– They know where to find me, Martinsen says to VG on Sunday morning.
No ambulance planes are currently available: – We are concerned
None of the air ambulance service in Norway’s ambulance planes are on the ground as a result of the ongoing aircraft technician strike and the lockout that came into force on the night of Sunday 26 June. This is confirmed by communications consultant Elin Åsbakk Lind to VG.
The status is, however, that it will not be very long before the situation can change.
Åsbakk Lind explains that the 10 ambulance aircraft received a technical check on Saturday night ahead of the announced lockout for aircraft technicians, which has led to 450 aircraft technicians covered by the Norwegian Aircraft Technician Organization (NFO) not being allowed to go to work since midnight Sunday night.
After such a technical check, it takes 72 hours before the planes have to be checked again to be able to fly, Åsbakk Lind explains. On Tuesday night, the planes will be checked again, but right now the air ambulance service only has one aircraft technician at work.
– Then the clock ticks if the situation has not changed, Lind says.
– Are you worried?
– We are concerned about the situation and follow it closely and report closely with our owners, but as of now the emergency preparedness is up and running, she says
However, NRK reported on Sunday night that the air strike may have consequences for patients throughout the country, because it may affect the supply of medicines. The worst thing can happen to patients in northern Norway.
– Vital diagnoses and treatment are in danger, said director of IFE Radiofarmasi, Erik Flatmark to the channel.
The flight conflict also affects patients who are unable to get treatment.
– Monday morning, 86 flights have been booked with Widerøe to a hospital in Finnmark that cannot be completed, says medical officer Harald Sunde at Finnmark Hospital to NRK.