News Column

SAS should not be supported by state aid: EU

July 10, 2014

By Johan Nylander, The Swedish Wire, Stockholm

July 10--The European Commission said that financial support given to Scandinavian airline group SAS by Sweden, Denmark and Norway was carried out on market terms and did not constitute state aid.

"The European Commission has concluded that a Revolving Credit Facility (RCF) that Denmark, Sweden and Norway granted to SAS in December 2012 was carried out on market terms and therefore did not constitute state aid within the meaning of EU rules", a press statement said.

"On this basis, the Commission reached the conclusion that the new RCF was concluded on terms that a private investor operating under market conditions would have accepted. It therefore procured no undue economic advantage to SAS and did not entail state aid. The new RCF was never used and was effectively cancelled on 4 March 2014".

Last month, SAS posted heavy losses in its second quarter and it announced further job cuts, including 300 layoffs after net loss doubled to SEK 800 million, Swedish Radio News reported.

SAS is the major air carrier in Scandinavia. Its four biggest shareholders are Sweden (21.4%), Denmark (14.3%), Norway (14.3%) and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation (KAW) (7.6%). SAS's financial position has been problematic for several years and its financial performance has deteriorated significantly since 2008.


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Source: Swedish Wire, The

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