SAS ‘planning to sell off large parts of company’

Scandinavian Airlines SAS is planning to announce a major reorganization, selling off large parts of the group, it has been reported.

Danish business newspaper Börsen reports that the company plans to sell its Spanish subsidiary Spanair, its SAS Ground Service operation and its 20 percent stake in British airline BMI. An evaluation will also be carried out into the prospect of selling SAS Cargo.

Citing ‘well-placed sources’ at SAS, Börsen said that the changes would be announced in a planned presentation by CEO Mats Jansson on Thursday.

The companies reported to be on the sale list account for 29 percent of the company’s total turnover and 11,000 employees, 40 percent of its workforce.

The company’s spokesman, Sture Stölen, would neither confirm nor refute the report, telling Börsen to “wait until this is presented in its entirety on Thursday.


‘We agree to disagree’: Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

By lunchtime on Friday, talks between the Scandinavian airline SAS and unions representing striking pilots were still stuck on "difficult issues".

'We agree to disagree': Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

“We agree that we disagree,” Roger Klokset, from the Norwegian pilots’ union, said at lunchtime outside the headquarters of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise in Stockholm, where talks are taking place. “We are still working to find a solution, and so long as there is still some point in continuing negotiations, we will do that.” 

Mats Ruland, a mediator for the Norwegian government, said that there were “still several difficult issues which need to be solved”. 

At 1pm on Friday, the two sides took a short break from the talks for lunch, after starting at 9am. On Thursday, they negotiated for 15 hours, breaking off at 1am on Friday morning. 

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on the SAS plane strike?

Marianne Hernæs, SAS’s negotiator on Friday told journalists she was tired after sitting at the negotiating table long into the night. 

“We need to find a model where we can meet in the middle and which can ensure that we pull in the income that we are dependent on,” she said. 

Klokset said that there was “a good atmosphere” in the talks, and that the unions were sticking together to represent their members.

“I think we’ve been extremely flexible so far. It’s ‘out of this world’,’ said Henrik Thyregod, with the Danish pilots’ union. 

“This could have been solved back in December if SAS had not made unreasonable demands on the pilots,” Klokset added. 

The strike, which is now in its 12th day, has cost SAS up to 130m kronor a day, with 2,550 flights cancelled by Thursday, affecting 270,000 passengers.