SAS Scandinavian Airlines completed (30-Sep-2013) the sale of 80% of the shares in Widerøe to an investment group consisting of Torghatten ASA, Fjord1 AS and Nordland Fylkeskommune. The agreement was signed on 03-May-2013. The total transaction proceeds amount to approximately SEK2 billion (EUR229.7 million) including aircraft related transactions, which will reduce SAS' net debt by a corresponding amount. Approximately half of the total transaction proceeds are strengthening SAS' cash and cash equivalent position. In addition, the transaction will reduce the previously announced negative effect on SAS' shareholders' equity from amended reporting rules for pensions by approximately SEK1 billion (EUR114.9 million). SAS Scandinavian Airlines plans to divest the remaining shares in Widerøe in 2016. [more - original PR]
SAS Scandinavian Airlines completes sale of Widerøe
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Since 2010, additional route numbers from Western Europe to the US have been greatest from the largest markets – the UK and the US – and from the smaller countries, particularly Ireland, Iceland and Norway. Countries in between, including France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, have hardly added any new US routes at all.
SAS eyes lower labour cost bases outside Scandinavia as the airline's margin starts to fall again
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Even Scandinavia's most significant LCC, Norwegian, has established bases in the UK and Spain, and many other LCC competitors have bases across the continent. Indeed, it would seem that SAS, once an opponent of Norwegian's plans to use Ireland as a trans-Atlantic base in search of lower labour costs, has borrowed a page from its rival's book on how to re-write airline strategy.