SAS, the airline half-owned by the governments of Sweden, Norway and Denmark, has indicated they will cut 6,000 jobs, sell off assets and renegotiate contracts with the remaining staff in an effort to reach profitability. The plan includes selling off regional carrier Wideroe, the ground handling services arm of the organization and other assets. SAS’s CEO noted that the current efforts are the last chance the carrier has to survive, "This truly is our final call if there is to be an SAS in the future."
Faced with heavy competition on both regional and long-haul routes, SAS has not made a profit in several years. Creditors are beginning to push the issue more aggressively and the company seems inclined to act on the demands. The latest salvo on the competition front come from Norwegian Air Shuttle, the LCC with new 787s on the way to serve the New York City and Bangkok markets. As part of their low cost efforts Norwegian will be setting their long-haul crew base in Bangkok to take advantage of lower costs there. Options like that are not available to SAS for controlling costs at this point.
SAS needs some good news, and soon. Hopefully this latest round of cuts will be sufficient to bring the company through the troubles.
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