More airports shut down
A strike by employees of Norway’s civil aviation authority Avinor spread further on Tuesday, shutting down more airports including the one serving the country’s oil capital of Stavanger. That means the strike now threatens operation of offshore installations, in addition to disrupting travel plans for tens of thousands.
Tor Børre Gaasland managed to get a flight from Bergen to Oslo just before his airport closed on Friday. Now thousands of others aren’t so lucky.
PHOTO: MARIT HOMMEDAL / SCANPIX
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With the strike now starting to affect the country’s oil industry, some observers say it’s just a matter of time before the government steps in to force negotiations and bring the labour action to an end.
As of mid-morning Tuesday, however, there still hadn’t been any contact between the two sides. Officials at both Avinor and the union representing Avinor employees, LO Stat, each claim the other must take the initiative for more talks. Wage hikes remain the key area of conflict.
Additional airports closed include Stavanger Sola and those serving Sandnessjøen, Sogndal, Alta in northern Norway, Svolvær and Leknes. Airports already closed included those serving Bergen Harstad/Narvik, Molde, Mo i Rana, Mosjøen and Kristiansund.
Western Norway is thus being hit the hardest by the strike of just over 400 Avinor workers. With Haugesund’s airport the only one remaining open for scheduled traffic, tens of thousands of passengers are being stranded by flight cancellations.
Most were having to drop trips, cancel business meetings or scramble to find other means of transport. Some have been able to secure train seats, but rail travel isn’t an option for many trying to travel along the coast.
Operators of North Sea oil installations quickly tried to move their helicopter operations that carry workers to and from rigs to Haugesund. Its airport is now operating at full capacity, though, and can’t offer any more takeoffs and landings.
Although Norway’s main international gateway airport at Oslo Gardermoen remains open, some 10,000 passengers there were expected to be affected since so much domestic air service is grounded.
Story Courtesy of http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article2433547.ece
My husband just managed to make it home yesterday before they shut down Stavanger Airport, you can read about it here …