SAS Scandinavian Airlines (SK, Copenhagen Kastrup) is to cancel a total of 766 flights from February 4 to May 14 owing to an acute shortage of pilots at its Cimber (QA, Sønderborg) subsidiary.

Acquired in December 2014, Cimber wet-leases its fleet of twelve CRJ-900s out to SAS for use on regional Scandinavian and continental European routes. But, while a number of SAS pilots were moved to the unit early on, a sudden surge in demand for manpower at the mainline carrier late last year saw the trend reverse with Cimber pilots now returning to SAS. The migration has thus resulted in a shortage of qualified flight crews at Cimber.

"It is a challenging process to recruit and to train pilots for Cimber, and it has proven to be more time-consuming than expected," SAS press officer Trine Kromann Mikkelsen told local media outlets last week.

The cancellations, which have already impacted 300 flights since November last year, primarily affect Cimber's Scandinavian operations.