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SAS in last minute bid to avoid collapse: report

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10:42 CET+01:00
According to reports in several Swedish media sources, Scandinavian Airline SAS is reported to be close to bankruptcy with staff set to be told to take a pay cut or face losing their jobs.

The troubled airline has been the subject of persistent bankruptcy rumours in recent weeks which intensified further after the company delayed the publication of its quarterly report, which is set to be published on Monday.

According to a report in the Expressen daily, intensive last minute discussions are ongoing within the Swedish government over how the immediate situation, and the prospect of bankruptcy, can be managed.

The loss-making airline has been told by its banks that state guarantees from major shareholders - Sweden, Norway and Denmark - are required before an extension is granted on a 4.7 billion kronor ($700 million) credit facility.

According to a report in the Dagens Industri business daily on Friday, the three Scandinavian countries this week sought EU approval for the guarantees.

According to a report in the Dagens Nyheter daily on Sunday, SAS staff are set to be presented with an ultimatum to take a pay cut or face losing their jobs.

The pay cuts will apply to salaries, holiday entitlements and a requirement for longer working hours, according to the newspaper's source.

The company has said that it intends to present a concrete plan for future operations in conjunction with the presentation of its third quarter report on Monday.

The airline's problems have persisted in recent years and the firm has struggled to compete with competitors. High salaries, pensions liabilities and an ageing fleet have all contributed to the parlous state of the company.

The last time the firm's problems came to a head, in 2010, cabin staff backed down and accepted lower pay and conditions.

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SAS employs 20,000 staff.

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