Lufthansa mulls SAS acquisition

Lufthansa chief executive Christoph Franz said Thursday that his group could consider making a bid for the Scandinavian airline SAS.

Lufthansa mulls SAS acquisition

“The chief executive Rickard Gustafson has really done an impressive job. SAS has made a lot of improvements to the company,” he told the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.

“It means that we could perhaps consider once again whether an acquisition could be possible.”

Lufthansa has long been seen as the main contender to acquire the ailing airline.

Franz did not reveal whether Lufthansa had begun talks with the three Scandinavian states (Sweden, Denmark and Norway) that together control 50 percent of the company.

“I’m not answering yes or no to that question. I’ll only say that I’m very impressed by what SAS has done in the past year,” he said.

“A Lufthansa purchase of SAS is something that has been discussed back and forth for many years… A few years ago a deal was nearly made but it fell apart, partly due to SAS’s bad finances.”

Both airlines are among the heavyweights in Star Alliance, the world’s biggest airline network which includes United, Turkish Airlines, Air China and ANA among others.

In November 2012 SAS announced a restructuring plan which its chief executive described as the “final call” to turn around the loss-making company.

The governments of Sweden, Norway and Denmark have indicated that they are interested in selling their shares in the airline if an attractive offer is made.

AFP/The Local/og

Follow The Local on Twitter

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


‘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.