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FINANCIAL WOES AT SAS
SAS tickets still selling amid passenger concern

SAS tickets still selling amid passenger concern

Published: 13 Nov 2012 17:24 GMT+01:00
Updated: 13 Nov 2012 17:24 GMT+01:00

Despite a flurry of worried phone calls from travellers, ticket sales for Scandinavian airline SAS continued to sell on Tuesday as many passengers ignored the airline’s current financial turbulence.

Travel agency Ticket announced on Tuesday that it had seen little difference in sales despite the savings plan launched by SAS on Monday.

“There have been no mass cancellations or a stop in sales. People are doubtful, but we’re still selling SAS tickets,” explained Martin Durnik of Ticket to the TT news agency.

However, the travel agency admitted that it had received a number of calls from concerned passengers who were fretting about the airline’s potential bankruptcy.

“There’s no general rule, it depends on what kind of ticket you’ve booked and how you’ve booked it. If it’s a packaged deal, you’re more protected,” he said.

“No one is saying that SAS is not going to continue flying,” he added.

After rumours of bankruptcy circulating for weeks, SAS announced on Monday that the company planned to slash 3 billion kronor ($445 million) in costs through salary reductions and other measures which include shedding nearly 6,000 jobs through divestments and staff cuts.

SAS CEO Rickard Gustafson dubbed the plan SAS's "final call" in avoiding bankruptcy.

Gustafson was in Copenhagen on Tuesday to discuss the company’s crisis plan; however Danish cabin staff chose to boycott the meeting.

The Danish staff members are expecting some 400 of the predicted job cuts to be solely in Denmark, stating that the company’s handling of the problems clashes with the Danish model.

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Your comments about this article

08:37 November 14, 2012 by Abe L
Naturally, for the business traveler there are no alternative options within Scandinavia. Sure, there are other airlines but these are simply not options. Internationally, the same problem, there are a handful of destinations where you can use other airlines but a transfer abroad will simply mean increased travel time and generally increased cost.

I sincerely hope that SAS makes it through the current hard times. It will be a significant blow to the Scandinavian economy as a whole if it where to disappear. Not for the airline disappearing but general connectivity to and from Scandinavia from the rest of the world. This will affect all businesses. SAS disappearing would also instantly mean that all relevant longhaul flights to Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo disappear.

I'm surprised that the various governments aren't stepping up their game to protect SAS better. The Scandinavian market is to small for the level of airline competition we see today, so instead of having a healthy large airline with proper connectivity and travel options for both business and leisure, we now have a number of non-profitable airlines trying to compete on to little business to be able to put down a proper product and proper connectivity.

As a very frequent traveler I'm not looking forward to find myself making more transfers in Amsterdam, Frankfurt or London (don't even bother with Paris) and their horribly congested airspace and incompetent airport staff.
10:22 November 14, 2012 by fikatid
I hope Lufthansa will buy out SAS, just like how they did with Swiss, which still operates like a separate company. That would be the best solution.
15:02 November 16, 2012 by nickknock
Sorry, SAS never did a good job serving their area. They did a horrible job acting as a unifying airline , for all of Scandinavia, including the growing Baltic market (half ass Baltic Air partnership). Missed opportunities and poor service came back to bite them.
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