Air France-KLM to buy nearly 20% stake in SAS

AFP , Tuesday 3 Oct 2023

Air France-KLM said Tuesday that it had joined an investment consortium to buy nearly 20 percent of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), which has been seeking investors in order to exit bankruptcy protection.

Scandinavian airline (SAS)
Scandinavian airline SAS has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States to help accelerate restructuring plans. AFP


The group, along with the Danish state, will invest $1.175 billion in the airline, with Air France-KLM investing $144.5 million to buy the 19.9 percent holding.

SAS filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States, an option available because of its operations there, in July 2022 as it reeled from Covid travel bans and a costly pilots strike.

It also embarked on a cost-cutting plan and a hunt for new investors, saying in September that some had shown "substantial" interest in coming aboard.

"This cooperation will allow Air France-KLM to enhance its position in the Nordics and improve connectivity for Scandinavian and European travellers," Air France-KLM chief Ben Smith said in a statement.

"Air France-KLM is determined to play an active role in the consolidation of European aviation," he added.

In July, Smith also reiterated his interest in buying a stake in Portugal's flag carrier TAP, which is being privatized after a rescue by the government.

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