SAS to cut up to 1,500 jobs

SAS to cut up to 1,500 jobs

SAS says it is to cut up to 1,500 jobs after unveiling wider second-quarter losses on falling traffic.

The Scandinavian airline - which is half-owned by the governments of Sweden, Denmark and Norway - aims to save 2bn Swedish kronor ($276m). It is also seeking a 10-20% cut in pay and pensions for cabin crew and pilots.

The move follows SAS announcing in February that it would be axing 3,000 jobs.

SAS also said its existing 4 billion kronor cost-cutting effort is “ahead of schedule” and expanded it by another 500 million kronor.

Between 1,000-1,500 jobs are to go as part of the new round of cuts, representing between a 5% and 8% reduction in the workforce.


The airline announced that it made a net loss of 1.05bn kronor in the second quarter of 2009. SAS said its second-quarter results had been hit by falling demand, with sales for the period down to 12.2bn kronor from 14.4bn in the same period last year.

“Additional measures are required to manage the unique, fierce competition in today’s highly challenging market,” said SAS president and chief executive Mats Jansson.

“Accordingly, it is essential that we now completely close SAS’s cost gap with our competitors. This is a matter of competing on equal conditions and, ultimately, about the survival of SAS.”

“The effects of the global recession are being felt extensively throughout the aviation industry,” SAS said.

The programme involved shedding about 40% of the airline’s 23,000 workforce, selling off stakes held in other carriers and raising 6bn kronor though a share sale.

SAS said it was ahead of schedule in implementing the measures under Core SAS.

SAS was suffering even before the downturn as it struggled to cut its bloated cost base in the face of opposition from labor unions trying to hold on to lucrative deals for pilots and cabin crew.