Sweden and Denmark step in with multibillion rescue package for SAS

Sweden and Denmark step in with multibillion rescue package for SAS
SAS has like many airlines been hit hard by the coronavirus. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
Sweden has unveiled a plan to help Scandinavian airline SAS weather the impact of the coronavirus crisis – and Denmark is also set to contribute.

Sweden unveiled Monday a plan to recapitalise struggling Scandinavian airline SAS, which said Denmark was also planning to the plan to help it weather the effects of the coronavirus crisis.

Sweden's Industry Minister Ibrahim Baylan said the government was willing to inject up to 5 billion kronor (474 million euros, $534 million).

The project requires approval from lawmakers.

SAS said in a statement that the Danish government would also contribute to the recapitalisation but did not provide a figure.

In its statement, SAS said it estimates its funding needs some 12.5 billion kronor and plans to provide more details about the recapitalisation and related measures by the end of the month.

Like many airlines, SAS has been hit hard as the impact from the coronavirus pandemic has wiped out demand for air travel.

In mid-March, the airline furloughed 90 percent of its staff and in late April SAS announced it was laying off 5,000 staff, accounting for about 40 percent of the company's workforce.

Sweden and Denmark, SAS' two largest shareholders, have already stepped in to help the airline. At the beginning of May they agreed to provide a 90 percent guarantee for a revolving credit facility of 3.3 billion kronor so the airline would have more access to cash.

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