Swedish airline SAS has announced it is to ax 3,000 jobs and sell off several of its stakes in other airlines after unveiling its fourth quarter results.
The company reported a pretax loss of 403 million Swedish Krona ($48.4 million) for Q4, compared with a profit of SK 57 million ($6.8 million) for the same period last year, reported Reuters.com.
In addition to the job cuts, the statement said, 5,600 employees will leave the SAS group through divestment or outsourcing --- with 3,000 of these through its loss-making Spanish subsidiary Spanair.
Other airlines from which SAS will divest include Spirit, Air Greenland, BMI, Estonian Airways, Skyways, Cubic and Trust.
The company said that a deal for Spanair had already been signed while one for Air Baltic was signed and closed.
The company is also to discontinue or outsource some of its technical support, ground service and cargo operations.
SAS has said that through its restructuring, called Core SAS, it will now concentrate on Nordic markets and profitable business routes.
The company is also planning a rights issue of SK 6 billion ($718 million) to help finance the restructuring.
SAS President and CEO Mats Jansson said the restructuring was necessary to "address one of the most severe economic declines that we probably have ever seen."
"The principal feature of Core SAS is a renewed focus on what we do best: serving our Nordic home market and our core customers, business travelers. Combined with a new, streamlined organization, a substantially improved cost base, a strengthened capital structure, and a more customer-oriented culture, we have all the right measures in place to create shareholder value going forward."
Swedish Minister for Enterprise and Energy Maud Olofsson said the government intended to take part in the rights issue so that the state continues its present share ownership in the airline.
The Swedish state currently has a 21.4 percent stake in SAS. To continue with the same level of ownership, the state would need to invest SK 1.28 billion.
The rights issue will now be put to shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting which is intended to be held on March 13.
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