STOCKHOLM Nov 18 Talks between SAS and
unions on wage cuts which the airline says are vital to its
survival failed to yield an agreement as a Sunday deadline
loomed, the company said.
The Scandinavian airline, hit by competition from
lower-price rivals, last week announced plans to cut some
salaries by up to 17 percent and reduce headcount to about 9,000
It began talks on Thursday to persuade unions to accept pay
cuts and new employment conditions which SAS says are necessary
to secure fresh funding.
Analysts doubt the measures will secure the independence of
the airline which they say has a structure designed more to
secure jobs and Nordic solidarity than generate profit and which
has hamstrung its ability to compete with discount carriers like
Ryanair and regional rival Norwegian Air Shuttle
SAS, half-owned by Denmark, Sweden and Norway, said
negotiations continued ahead of a SAS board meeting planned for
later on Sunday but no agreement had been reached with any
"There needs to be a solution before the board meets later
today, Sunday. At the meeting the board will decide whether the
conditions exist to carry out the plan," SAS said.
"Until the board meeting there is intensive work to reach a
deal about new collective agreements," it said.
SAS spokeswoman Elisabeth Manzini said the board would
decide the next steps if the deadline was not met.
She declined to say how long SAS's cash would last or at
what time the board was scheduled to meet.
SAS expects cost cuts to improve earnings by 3 billion
crowns while asset sales would strengthen the company's balance
sheet by 3 billion crowns.
A new credit facility worth around 3.5 billion crowns is
being provided by seven banks and the governments of Denmark,
Sweden and Norway, but is conditional on unions agreeing to the