SAS airlines slash 500 jobs

Scandinavian airlines SAS announced on Thursday that it would slash another 500 jobs and seven planes from its fleet, after flying into loss during the second quarter, due to the economic slowdown and high fuel prices.

SAS airlines slash 500 jobs

The company recorded a loss of 411 million kronor ($65.4 million dollars) in the April-June period, down sharply from a 607 million kronor profit 12 months earlier, it said in a statement. Sales however rose 8.7 percent, however, to 17.7 billion kronor.

Mats Jansson, President and CEO, said the following in an SAS Group press statement:

“There is no doubt that the situation in the air-travel industry is serious and probably the most difficult it has ever been. These capacity reductions should be seen in the light of an expected further slowdown in the economy in 2008 and 2009.”

And although he stressed that the group is “financially stable”, he said “it is essential in the short term” that they carry out these cost cutting measures so that their long-term strategy for 2011 may be implemented.

Elizabeth Manzi, press officer at SAS Group reiterated Jansson’s statement and told The Local that the “situation is serious”.

The SAS Group incorporates all the Scandinavian countries’ SAS airlines: SAS Sverige, SAS Danmark, SAS Norge and smaller airlines like Spanair, Blue1, airBaltic and Wideroe. The SAS Group also own SAS Aviation Services which deliver technical and ground services.


‘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.