Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS), the main carrier in Sweden and Denmark, has filed for bankruptcy in the US, the so-called “Chapter 11”, which has more suitable conditions for the company to recover financially.
The announcement was made on Tuesday, the day after a strike started by SAS pilots that has affected most of the airline’s flights during the summer season.
According to Anko van der Werff, chief executive of SAS, the strike did not trigger the bankruptcy filing, but it accelerated the process.
“SAS intends to reach agreements with key stakeholders, restructure the company’s debt obligations, reconfigure its aircraft fleet and emerge with a significant capital injection,” he said.
The airline, which is controlled by the Swedish and Danish governments, which have already expressed their intention not to cover the financial gaps, is in the process of implementing the “SAS Forward” project, which aims to reduce costs and optimize its operation, which has been accumulating losses for years.
With a fleet of 111 aircraft, many of them new, SAS is considered a company with low productivity. The airline’s goal is to attract investors willing to invest the nearly $1 billion needed to balance its accounts.
Scandinavian Airlines System was created in 1946 through a consortium formed by the airlines Svensk Interkontinental Lufttrafik (Sweden), Det Norske Luftfartselskap (Norway) and Det Danske Luftfartselskab (Denmark). Starting in 1951, the three companies were merged into one, SAS.