• A pilots strike at Scandinavian Airlines could force the carrier to make severe cuts.
  • The airline said the disruption is complicating its efforts to raise short- and long-term capital.
  • More than 2,500 SAS flights have been cancelled since the stoppage on July 4.

A pilots strike at one of Europe's largest airlines could force the company to make severe cuts to its equipment and service.

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) said Thursday that the strike involving 1,000 of its pilots is hurting its ability to obtain short- and long-term funding, including funding needed to complete a bankruptcy process the carrier initiated earlier this month.

"We must reach an agreement and end the strike as soon as possible. That will require us to find us a solution that is acceptable to all stakeholders," SAS CEO Anko van der Werff said in a statement. "The strike is putting the success of the chapter 11 process and, ultimately, the survival of the Company at stake."

The company says the strike is eroding its cash reserves, which are already experiencing a seasonal decline following the early summer ticket sales.

Now in its 11th day, the strike began when talks over pay and working conditions deadlocked. Pilots in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden have walked off the job, forcing the airline to cancel about half its flights.

Since then, SAS says it has cancelled more than 2,500 flights, impacting over 270,000 passengers at a time when travel chaos is wreaking havoc in Europe and around the world.

If the company is unable to reorganize its debts in bankruptcy and secure longer term financing, it says it will have to consider selling off its assets and scaling down its operations.

"Once those actions are taken, it will be difficult for SAS to rebuild back the size and breadth of its current network and services," the company said.

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