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Market optimistic on SAS

The market has opened optimistically for SAS

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News that all unions but one have agreed terms with the Scandinavian Airlines System appear to have bolstered market sentiments, with the SAS stock bumping up some 21 per cent some 30 minutes after opening at around DKK6 kr.

The market was reacting to news that the pilots organisations in Sweden, Denmark and Norway had reached agreement with SAS on a rescue conditions package. Cabin crew organisations, apart from a single Danish one, have also reached agreement with the airline.

SAS CEO Rickard Gustafson briefly left negotiations Monday morning to issue a warning to the Cabin Attendants Union.

“We must reach settlement. It is vital for the company in order that we can carry through with our plan,” Gustafson says.

At issue is the SAS cost cutting package to the tune of an annual DKK 2.6 billion.

Agreement was reached overnight with Swedish, Danish and Norwegian pilots organisations as well as the two Norwegian cabin attendants unions and their Swedish sister union.

Although precise details of all agreements have not yet been made public, some details have emerged.

Sweden’s cabin crew say that their agreement calls for an increase in the pensionable age to 65, the removal of planned salary increases in 2013 and 2014 and more flexible working hours.

For pilots, the pensionable age is to increase to 65, production days (Ed: air time) increases from 179 to 190 days per year, several steps on the salary ladder have been removed.

Apart from the new agreements to cut costs by DKK 2.6 billion, SAS has announced plans to sell off its Norwegian subsidiary Widerøe as well as SAS Ground Handling.

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