20-Nov-2012 12:18 PM

SAS Scandinavian Airlines signs new agreements with eight unions

SAS Scandinavian Airlines announced (19-Nov-2012) it signed new agreements with eight of eight unions, with the Danish Pilot Union's agreement conditional on the approval by one third of its members. The signing of new agreements were required to allow the airline to implement its new restructuring plan, 4 Excellence Next Generation (4XNG) plan to address the issues facing SAS. The agreements will allow the airline to receive a new SEK3.5 billion (EUR404.7 million) revolving credit facility from its banks and its core shareholders, the Scandinavian Governments. SAS had previously set the deadline for new agreements to be signed on 18-Nov-2012 as noted by local medial sources including Politiken, CHECK-IN.dk, Copenhagen Post, DN.no and Aftenposten. Norwegian Industry Minister Trond Giske said there are some further formalities to be sorted before SAS will be able to access the new credit facility. Mr Giske said he has great respect for employees who agreed to reduce their rights, however, said the alternative would have been much worse. Copenhagen Mayor Frank Jensen commended SAS management and unions for coming together to save the airline. Mr Jensen said, "It is a tremendous relief, because there would have been serious consequences for Copenhagen, the Øresund region and for the whole of Denmark if they had not found a solution. In terms of future employment in Copenhagen, it is vital that we have direct flight routes to growing markets in China, India and Brazil." As previously reported by CAPA, the 4XNG plan is aimed at improving SAS' EBT by approximately SEK3 billion (EUR346.9 million) on an annualised basis and to improve the airline's liquidity by SEK3 billion (EUR346.9 million) through asset sales. The airline is also seeking to reduce its workforce from 15,000 to 9000 (mainly through asset sales) and reduce salaries and wages by up to 17%. [more - original PR - SAS] [more - original PR - SAS II]

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