Strategic Meetings Summit London, 26 September,
September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
SAS, northern Europe”s major airline, and a key member of Star Alliance, says that it is to concentrate on its core business and divest of interests not considered to be an integral part of its day to day activities.
Spanair, which it owns 95% was given as an example, as was bmi (20%) and Air Greenland (37.5%) whose president is Flemming Knudsen, formerly of Maersk and known in the British market for the short lived Birmingham European Airways.
bmi seem to be very laid back regarding the news and issued the following statement : ”SAS have stated their intention of selling their bmi stake before so it is not surprising to see it as part of their strategic statement today. Any sale would be subject to the conditions imposed in the original shareholders' agreement.” Lufthansa, who own 30%, have been touted as a possible buyer of the SAS shareholding but refuses to comment. Sir Michael Bishop and his colleagues own 50% plus one share.
bmi are clearly much more concerned in finding suitable Airbus A330 aircraft. After a 25 year battle to obtain traffic rights from Heathrow to the United States the airline finds itself struggling to find suitable equipment in which to introduce new services. At the recent IATA conference in Vancouver chief executive Nigel Turner was confident that aircraft will be found. ”We have three A330s on line,” he said. ”I am positive that we will be ready to expand our long haul Heathrow operation next spring”.
Speaking in Stockholm SAS CEO Mats Jansson had this to say: "The airline market is changing rapidly. We want to be in the forefront in terms of giving customers the best service and the most attractive fares. To ensure our development and cover our future investment needs we must from now until 2011 increase our pre-tax profit”.
He had some strong words to say about the unions. "A new cooperation model with the unions will be established. We have to abandon the strike culture that has long existed at SAS. We have to stand together behind a new customer-oriented business culture based on the needs, requirements and expectations of customers. This will ensure our future as a strong and independent airline and also give us an opportunity to involve employees in the value that is created through profit sharing and part ownership."
Staying within the group are Scandinavian Airlines Danmark, Norge, Sverige and International, Blue 1, Wider”e, airBaltic and Estonian Air. Holdings in other airlines, Spanair, bmi and Air Greenland, will be sold.
The future structure and roles of other operations, such as SAS Ground Services (SGS), SAS Technical Services (STS) and Spirit (air cargo handling), is to be evaluated.