SAS ‘fighting for survival’ as Nordic airline’s shares plunge

Stocks in Scandinavian airline SAS tumbled on Monday after its chief executive said the company was fighting for its survival and must cut costs.

SAS aircraft on the tarmac in Copenhagen in May 2020. The airline is fighting for survival, its CEO said in an interview on October24th.
SAS aircraft on the tarmac in Copenhagen in May 2020. The airline is fighting for survival, its CEO said in an interview on October24th. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

“When I see what the market looks like today, how our clients are changing, and the size of our debt, it’s absolutely clear that we have to do things very differently,” Anko Van der Werff, who took over as CEO in July, told Danish business newspaper Finans late Sunday.

“It is a fight to change SAS so that we have a future.”

SAS is currently facing several problems, including a permanent drop in business travel and costly collective labour agreements, he said.

Van der Werff said he had summoned the main unions for three months of negotiations aimed at cutting costs and increasing flexibility.

“This requires understanding and willingness from everyone… SAS needs to be competitive so we can survive, grow, and create jobs,” he said.

In early afternoon trading on Monday, the SAS share price had lost 14 percent on the Stockholm stock exchange.

The ailing airline cut 5,000 jobs last year — representing 40 percent of its workforce — and announced in May this year a credit line of three billion kronor ($350 million) from the Danish and Swedish governments, its main shareholders, to get through the crisis.

That aid came on top of a first line of credit for the same amount and a capital increase in 2020.

READ ALSO: Virus-stricken airline SAS secures new public loan from Denmark and Sweden

Member comments

  1. I was just wondering last week when I was in Copenhagen why SAS doesn’t join forces with Icelandair and Finnair and merge into a new company called Nordic Air. Together they may be stronger.

    1. Because a 3 country airline is a basket case to run !…….let alone a one country airline.
      Trust me…..I’m a pilot.
      Then, I can’t imagine the Finns or the Icelanders to see the name of their countries vanish ……Nordic sounds really cheap.
      Airlines ……legacy airlines carry a hell of a lot history……a thing people tend to forget and airline employees are very proud of……I know…..I am

    2. SAS is a proud, historic name. Perhaps, the public should hear Scandinavian Airlines System more than SAS. The airline does appear to have a monopoly on SFO-CPH non stop currently, with the disappearance of Norwegian airlines. Route structure and aircraft type are really critical nowadays.

    3. So Bruno and David prefer to see an airline which is going bust but at least they keep their legacy name? It is a commercial necessity to merge with other airlines. All over Europe airlines have merged to survive.

  2. I was shocked to see our SAS Business Class — SFO-CPH — A350 about half full on our round trip flights.

    Of course, the full price tickets were about $7500.

    Hope SAS survives — and lowers fares.

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Norwegian police urge travellers not to book holidays without a valid passport 

The public has been warned by the Norwegian Police Directorate, which issues travel documents, to not book any foreign holidays without a valid passport due to long waiting times for travel documents.

Norwegian police urge travellers not to book holidays without a valid passport 

Due to long waiting times, the public has been cautioned against making holiday plans without a valid Norwegian passport as travel documents may not arrive in time for the trip. 

“We would strongly encourage people to wait to book a holiday abroad before they know that they have their travel documents in order,” Bjørn Vandvik from the Norwegian Police Directorate said in a statement on Wednesday

Previously the police said that those travelling within the EEA this summer should instead order a national ID card which allows for travel within the Schengen area because that form of travel documentation was subject to shorter waiting times. 

Those wishing to travel during fellesferie, the collective holiday period in Norway, have been advised to order new travel documents by the end of May or the beginning of June at the latest. 

Despite the measures put in place by the police to try and ensure that supply meets demand, waiting lists are growing longer, and the authorities don’t expect the backlog to be cleared until the autumn.

The current waiting time for passports is around seven weeks. However, the police have said they expect this to increase to 10 weeks by July. 

READ MORE: How do Norway’s slow passport processing times compare to Denmark and Sweden?

So far this year, the police have received 560,40 passport applications. In contrast, the police registered 270,000 applications in 2019. 

A mixture of the pandemic and war in Ukraine has made getting the materials used to produce national ID cards and passports more difficult.