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The new livery features a large SAS logo in a unique silver-gray metallic colour with engines to match (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Connor Sadler)

SAS Looks to Cut Workforce By Up to 5,000 Jobs

SAS has announced that it will look to remove up to 5,000 full-time positions of its future workforce as the airline “adapts the business to a lower demand environment.” The flag carrier of Denmark, Norway and Sweden employs around 11,000 workers, albeit 10,000 are currently furloughed, but foresees the industry “will take some years before demand returns to the levels experienced before the outbreak.”

In a press release, the airline said the potential reduction of its workforce will be split across the three countries with 1,300 positions in Norway, 1,700 in Denmark and 1,900 in Sweden being considered. Although the job cuts wil be in line with the local labor laws, SAS states it will work with labor unions to find any solutions to help reduce the actual number of layoffs.

SAS, a founding member of Star Alliance, has hubs in all three countries located in Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm and currently operates a reduced domestic network across Norway and Sweden. Before COVID-19 the airline had more than 800 daily departures operated with a fleet of approximately 150 aircraft including three newly delivered Airbus A350-900s. Another five are scheduled to be delivered over the next year. Alongside the A350s, SAS was expecting to receive another 41 A320neos until 2023 and three A321LRs by the end of this year.

Rickard Gustafson, CEO of SAS, said, “COVID-19 has forced SAS to face a new and unprecedented reality that will reverberate not only in the coming months, but also during the coming years.”

“Our ambition is to continue to be the leading airline in Scandinavia and to have a leading role in the Scandinavian infrastructure as a guarantor of the nation and international connectivity. In order to continue this important societal function, we need to adapt our cost base to the prevailing circumstance,” Gustafson reaffirmed.

He finished off by giving some hope for the future by saying “We remain ready to quickly ramp-up operations and reduce the number of affected positions if demand recovers more quickly.”

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