SAS Teetering on the Brink of Bankruptcy?

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The trading on SAS, which hasn’t posted an annual profit for five years, stock was halted on Tuesday due to rumors of its financial health. The airline is half owned by Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian governments.

sas-reuters

There were interesting pieces on both Reuters and Financial Times about the airline.

sas-ft

SAS is trying to slash costs and is going to make some of the employees to reapply for their jobs at a lower pay. I don’t think that this is going to go down very well in Scandinavia, where employees are not used to pay cuts.

It has also been rumored that the airline would be considering selling part of its Eurobonus frequent flier program to an outside investor. Air Canada partially spun off its Aeroplan unit in 2005 on an IPO.

Conclusion

It appears that the Nordic governments are getting tired of bumping more money in to the loss making SAS.  Also, there is so much money that you can lend to an airline by a government before you run fool with the EU competition rules.

It is unthinkable  that the airline would go down like Spanair, which was at one point 94% owned by SAS, or Malev – two European airlines that ceased their operations earlier this year.

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