Tuesday, February 03, 2009

SAS Set to Cut Work Force by 40%

SAS logoScandinavian carrier SAS has announced plans to restructure, and according to news reports, that will have a massive impact on jobs at the airline. SAS CEO Mats Jansson told reporters that the airline will cut 40 percent of its routes, sell foreign units, and eliminate about 9,000 employees.

SAS plans to cut about 3,000 jobs outright. In addition, another 5,600 employees will leave the airline as part of operations that are to be sold or outsourced. In all, about 40% of the current 23,000 jobs at SAS will be eliminated from the airline's payroll.

According to the BBC, SAS "hopes to sell its interests in Spirit, Air Greenland, BMI, Estonian Airways, Skyways, Cubic and Trust, as it concentrates on business travel in the Nordic market." Divestment of its Spanish subsidiary, Spanair, is already underway.

In a press release, the SAS CEO said the restructuring was necessary "to address one of the most severe economic declines that we probably have ever seen."

"The principal feature of Core SAS is a renewed focus on what we do best: serving our Nordic home market and our core customers, business travelers. Combined with a new, streamlined organization, a substantially improved cost base, a strengthened capital structure, and a more customer-oriented culture, we have all the right measures in place to create shareholder value going forward."