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SAS paves way for lay-offs due to ash

AFP/The Local · 17 Apr 2010, 09:15

Published: 17 Apr 2010 09:15 GMT+02:00

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"We have today warned 2,500 employees there could be temporary lay-offs. A final decision will be made on Monday," SAS spokeswoman Elisabeth Manzy told AFP late Friday.

Only employees in Norway had received the warning because Norwegian law requires two days of advanced notice in these cases, she said, adding that workers in Sweden and Denmark would be notified later since laws there were different.

"We can't fly. Our entire fleet is on the ground ... There is nothing for them to do," Manzy explained.

All SAS flights in the company's hub cities Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm have been cancelled until Saturday at 1500 GMT at the earliest, "but everything could still be closed on Monday," she said.

All employees hit by the temporary lay-off would get their job back once flights were back in the air, Manzy said.

The lay-offs "will last only as long as this extraordinary situation is happening," she said.

SAS cancelled 742 flights on Friday, grounding all but a few flights in the north of Norway, where services restarted at a very slow pace.

Story continues below…

The company has refused to say how much the volcano blast had cost it but according to Danish Boarding.dk, a specialised air travel news site, SAS was losing around 120 million Danish kroner ($22 million) per day.

Millions of passengers remained stranded across Europe after a huge cloud of ash from a volcano eruption that began in Iceland on Wednesday swept across Europe, grounding thousands of flights in the biggest air travel shutdown since World War II.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:21 April 17, 2010 by rba
If SAS goes bust because of this, at least some good will have come out of this episode.

Let them go bankrupt and have more competent airlines with better service (or cheaper prices, choose one) take over.
12:59 April 17, 2010 by Beavis
Youd be better off firing Elizabeth and her senior management team to make those savings. When will SAS ever learn that they are a failing airline due to their pricing structure and stop blaming it on other things
13:03 April 17, 2010 by wifey
Feel sorry for anyone who might be left without work...
17:48 April 17, 2010 by Kr0n
This is a new trend. If airlines are to collapse within a few days like SAS is collapsing, then the days of the airline industry may be counted. With more eruptions like this in other key regions (e.g. U.S. with Yellowstone's super volcano), we humans will have to invent new means of air transportation, volcano-proof, and really fast. Low orbit space vehicles, hypersound planes (they have no rotating turbines in their main engines), levitation-based vehicles (gravitation-, electrostatic-, magnetic- based), space-morphing vehicles, time machines, etc...
03:40 April 18, 2010 by Davey-jo
@ Kr0n .....or we could just stay at home and walk.
16:38 April 18, 2010 by karex

If Yellowstone erupts there won't be much left of the planet anyway. The entire Continental US, Mexico and most of Canada would be destroyed almost immediately. The darkness that would cover the planet for probably years to come would cause the plants to die, and the animals who feed on them, and then us who feed on these animals. Airline transporation in a scenario like that is completely irrelevant.
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