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Sweden says SAS plan to raise cash needs ‘thorough analysis’

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) Airbus A320 planes are parked at Copenhagen airport in Kastrup, Denmark, March 15, 2020. TT News Agency/Johan Nilsson via REUTERS

By Helena Soderpalm

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden, which has a 22% stake in SAS, said it was examining the Scandinavian carrier’s plans to raise capital, suggesting Stockholm was not yet ready to back the airline with more money.

SAS on Tuesday said it aimed to slash annual costs by 7.5 billion Swedish crowns ($805.5 million) across the company over five years, and that it hoped to raise more cash from its main owners Sweden and Denmark following a multi-billion rescue deal in 2020.

Swedish Enterprise Minister Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson on Wednesday told Reuters it would take time to analyse SAS’ plan.

“The company has just presented a comprehensive plan consisting of many different components. We will include both financial and legal advice in the comprehensive analysis that needs to be done,” he said.

“As a responsible owner, it is important to make a thorough analysis of the content of the plan before we give further comments,” he said in an email.

Nikolaj Wammen, Finance Minister in Denmark, which also holds a 22% stake in SAS, on Tuesday told Reuters the government was monitoring SAS’ developments closely and declined to comment further.

Loss-making SAS had already been struggling for years in the face of growing competition from low-cost carriers when the pandemic and travel restrictions slammed the aviation industry.

($1 = 9.3106 Swedish crowns)

Sweden says SAS plan to raise cash needs ‘thorough analysis’

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