Scandinavian airlines – SAS – is set to cut 6,000 staff in a bid to remain in the air. The airline will also implement a programme of asset sales including its regional airline in Norway to secure loans from banks and Nordic governments.
SAS, one of the European flag-carriers has been struggling with high costs for several years. “It’s an ambitious and demanding programme which will ask a lot from us all and will have an impact on all employees but the fact is that there is no other way. We haven’t made any money in many, many years in this company. It doesn’t work to continue. We have to try to adjust to the market and that is what we are trying to achieve with this programme,” explained Rickard Gustafson the company’s CEO.
Peter Norman, Sweden’s Financial Markets Minister said, “Together with the Norwegian and Danish governments and seven large banks, we join forces so that SAS can borrow money during a rough time. This loan guarantee comes with the condition that SAS’ implements its restructuring programme.”
Analysts have doubted if the measures, which are aimed to give SAS two years breathing space will be enough to keep the airline independent. It has struggled to cope with soaring jet fuel costs because of the structural make up of the company and compete with low cost competitors.