Airline SAS to put off decision on sales of units

STOCKHOLM, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Scandinavian airline SAS SAS.ST will put off a decision about the future of three of its business units until late January because of the threat of a strike by unions, daily Dagens Industri wrote on Sunday.

SAS said earlier this year it would review the future of its Ground Services, Technical Services and part of its cargo unit as it looks to focus on core activities to boost profit.

A decision was due at a board meeting to be held Monday, Dagens Industri wrote in its Internet edition, quoting an unnamed source.

Management will now likely put off the decision to the end of January.

“A big strike across the whole of Scandinavia would cost SAS about 100 million crowns per day and would be a big problem for SAS’s customers,” Dagens Industri quoted the source saying.

“Concern for passengers during the Christmas and New Year period means that SAS’ board will postpone the decision.”

Dagens Industri said the units in question employ around 10,000 people.

SAS has been hit by a number of strikes this year, and three emergency landings in autumn forced it to ground its entire fleet of Dash 8 Q400 planes, costing it hundreds of millions of crowns in lost business. (Reporting by Simon Johnson; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)