SAS Announces Cuts of 1,500 Jobs


Scandinavian Airline System 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 $276 million. Between 1,000 and 1,500 jobs are to go as part of the new round of cuts, representing between a 5 percent and 8 percent reduction in the workforce. It is also seeking a 10 to 20 percent cut in pay and pensions for cabin crew and pilots. SAS also said its existing $552 million cost-cutting effort is “ahead of schedule” and expanded it by another $69 million.

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

The airline announced that it made a net loss of $145 million 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 $1.7 billion from $2 billion in the same period last year.

The program involved shedding about 40 percent of the airline’s 23,000 workforce, selling off stakes held in other carriers and raising $828 million 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.

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