Strike Action Closes 3 Airports in Norway, Air Traffic Hit

Published June 04, 2012

Three Norwegian airports were closed Monday as security personnel stepped up strike action over pay, while nine others airports had limited checkpoint capacity.

Alta and Sandnessjoen airports in northern Norway and Kristiansund on the west coast canceled all flights, while Haugesund and Aalesund in the west and Bodoe and Tromsoe in the north were operating with very low capacity, airport authority Avinor said.

The airports surrounding the country’s biggest cities have also been affected since Friday, including those in Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim, Tromsoe, as well as the country’s main airport at Gardermoen, north of the capital Oslo.

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA (NAS.OS) said its flights were taking off as scheduled, and Norwegian oil company Statoil ASA (STO) said oil production in the North Sea was ongoing despite reduced helicopter traffic to and from oil platforms.

The security workers were striking due to a disagreement about wages. Around 1,800 members of the Norsk Arbeidsmandsforbund union, or NAF, went on strike from Friday evening, and of these 150 were at Gardermoen.

NAF and the NHO Service, which is negotiating on behalf of security business employers, met briefly Sunday without resolution, and are to meet again Monday, union negotiator Erna Hagensen told public broadcaster NRK.

Another security personnel union, Parat, reached a wage deal Friday with NHO and its members are at work.

Norwegian Air Shuttle said Monday flights were running as scheduled so far, but some had been moved to different airports.

"We have moved flights from Tromsoe to Bardufoss and transported the passengers by bus," said spokeswoman Asa Larsson. "We also moved flights from Alta to the Lakselv airport." The airline is asking passengers to arrive early.

Helicopter flights between North Sea oil and gas platforms and the West coast have also been affected, with fewer flights from Bergen and Stavanger, and none from the offshore airports in Floroe and Kristiansund.

Statoil said its offshore petroleum production Norway continues, but some workers would have to stay offshore longer than planned.

"It’s unfortunate for those who are affected, but it won’t immediately affect production," Statoil spokesman Ole Anders Skauby told news agency NTB.

Write to Kjetil Malkenes Hovland at kjetilmalkenes.hovland@dowjones.com

Copyright © 2012 Dow Jones Newswires

Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/news/2012/06/04/strike-action-closes-3-airports-in-norway-air-traffic-hit/print#ixzz1wqARoVXe

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