Labor Deal Frees SAS To Sell Wideroe

 - January 5, 2013, 5:15 AM

SAS’s conciliation with the last of its eight main labor unions in late November allows the Scandinavian carrier to move ahead with the sale of its Wideroe regional subsidiary as part of its “4Excellence Next Generation” restructuring. SAS said the plan, which also involves outsourcing of ground operations, administrative consolidation and employee compensation cuts, will produce 3 billion Swedish kronor ($455 million) in annual cost savings and another SEK 3 billion through assetsales. Norwegian regional Wideroe flies some two million passengers a year on 39 Bombardier Dash 8/Q Series turboprops to 40 airports in Norway–more than twice as many as any other airline–and six international destinations. Forty percent of its network consists of Public Service Obligation (PSO) routes.