Sunday, July 21, 2024

SAS receives European Commission approval for restructure

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Scandinavian airline SAS’s restructuring process has moved a step closer after the European Commission approved the plan.

The commission has announced that the participation of the Danish and Swedish governments in SAS’s restructuring complies with EU rules on state aid.

SAS, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US two years ago, needs to gain regulatory approval for a plan which will see Air France-KLM take an initial 19.9 per cent stake in the company. The consortium of new owners also includes investment firms Castlelake and Lind Invest.

The airline said that the European Commission’s decision on state aid was “another important step forward for SAS in its transformation plan”.

But the restructuring still requires approval by other regulatory authorities around the world, as well as being granted legal clearance in Sweden for the company’s reorganisation.

As part of the change in ownership, SAS is to switch airline alliances from Star Alliance to SkyTeam on 1 September. Air France-KLM is a leading member of SkyTeam.

Meanwhile, SAS and another SkyTeam member Delta are planning to launch a major codeshare deal on flights across the Atlantic and beyond.

The two carriers have applied to the US Department of Transportation for permission to be allowed to jointly sell their flights. If approved, this would also allow SAS to place Delta’s code on its flights from Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm to European destinations.

Last month, SAS launched new daily flights from Copenhagen to Atlanta, which is one of Delta’s major hubs in the US.

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