Stein and Merete are not allowed to travel – get no sympathy – NRK Troms and Finnmark

Stein Gjerstad and Merete Giæver Gjerstad were informed last night that the flight from Tromsø to Bergen on Sunday had been canceled due to technical reasons.

– I miss two concerts. Imagine Dragons tomorrow and Post Malone on Tuesday, with our boys. Plus I also have a job I should be at, says Gjerstad.

Gjerstad is annoyed.

– Now we have all been involved in sponsoring the airlines so they will survive. Here, too, they are beginning to strike a chord with what we have all been contributing to. So no sympathy.

Canceled 67 flights

Recently, there has been a labor dispute between NHO Aviation and the Norwegian Aircraft Technician Organization (NFO), and on Tuesday this week, NHO announced a lockout. This means that 450 aircraft technicians are not allowed to go to work.

– Lockout is notified from midnight, and then it will be like this, said director of NHO Aviation Torbjørn Lothe to NRK late Saturday night.

NHO announced a lockout because the parties have not come up with a solution to the conflict, which among other things is about the salaries of aircraft technicians.

This has led to Widerøe canceling 67 domestic flights on Sunday.

Screenshot from the homepage of Avinor showing the canceled departures to Widerøe on 26.06.2022.

– We made a decision yesterday to shut down the short-haul network in a controlled manner until 17.00 today. These are the flights we have from the smaller airports in Norway to the larger ones, says communications manager in Widerøe, Catharina Solli to NRK.

This means that most of Widerøe’s departures after 17.00 in advance will go as planned.

– The longer routes continue as far as possible. However, we have had to cancel some of the regional routes as well. That is because we have had technical challenges with them, says Solli.

Contingency is, for example, normal

This can have particular consequences for ambulance aircraft, and Babcock had his application for disposal from the aircraft technician strike rejected.

It was previously reported that two ambulance planes were on the ground due to lack of technical staff. Now all ambulance planes must be in operation.

Øyvind Juell, CEO of the air ambulance service, told NRK.

Air ambulance

The ambulance aircraft will be in operation after the announcement that one in Alta and one in Brønnøysund were seen on the ground due to technical challenges.

Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / Stian Lysberg Solum

He apologizes for the mistake and says that the emergency preparedness is going as normal.

Ambulance flights can run for 72 hours without the need for a technical check, says Juell.

It is the Norwegian Board of Health and the Ministry of Labor and Social Inclusion that assesses and approves a compulsory wage board if there is a danger to life and health.

The Ministry informs NRK that the Minister is following the conflict. Information is obtained from the Norwegian Board of Health, something that is a common routine in such a labor dispute.

Can have major consequences

In northern Norway there are long distances. If the conflict continues, it will have major consequences for commuting to work, and for people who have planned hours in the hospital.

– Much of the transport to the hospital goes with Widerøe, so it is demanding that this continues, says state administrator Elisabeth Vik Aspaker in Troms and Finnmark.

Tromsø Airport 26 June

This is what it looks like at Tromsø Airport on Sunday morning.

Photo: Ingeborg Grindheim Slinde / NRK

– People may have to wait for hours for months. There are a lot of old people who travel, and if you have to drive 50-60 km, it is not an alternative, says Aspaker.

The state administrator in Troms and Finnmark is concerned about social security, and has sent a report of concern to the Directorate for Social Security and Emergency Preparedness (DSB).

Can not book about passengers

Catharina Solli said that they no longer have the opportunity to rebook passengers who have had their plane canceled, as they could earlier this week.

This is because they do not know how long this strike will last.

– We contact the passengers who have been affected by the strike, and ask them to contact the city where they bought the tickets when the strike is over. Hopefully it will happen soon, she says.

Kirkenes Airport

Widerøe has canceled all flights on the short-haul network before 17.00 on Sunday.

Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB

Solli says they have had a large influx of customers who have been calling them all week.

– It is clear that now when there is a lockout and there is a week to go on holiday, there will be a lot going on. This is precisely why we emphasize that customers must not contact us, we contact them.

Must expect major operational challenges

SAS has also canceled 12 flights today, but that is not the reason for the strike.

– We have no expectations that the strike will go beyond our flights today, but it is clear that without technicians we must expect major operational challenges, says press contact Lars Wigelstorp Andersen in SAS.

Picture of Norwegian and Sas planes at Gardermoen.

Airlines Norwegian and SAS have also canceled departures on Sunday.

Photo: Ismail Burak Akkan / NRK

According to an overview to VG, KLM has canceled four international flights from or to Norway, while Norwegian and Lufthansa have canceled two international flights.

Solli first informed NRK that there were 76 canceled flights, but Solli said afterwards that the number was incorrect. There are 67 canceled flights.