SAS Confident for Winter as Funding Approved and Travel Rebounds

SAS AB Chief Executive Officer Anko van der Werff said he’s confident the Scandinavian airline will emerge successfully from a chapter 11 restructuring after winning clearance for a $700 million financing package and seeing a rebound in its own performance, Bloomberg News reported. Approval for the Apollo Global Management funding from a US bankruptcy judge is “the biggest and most important news” for SAS and will be “vital” as it seeks to move forward with a new strategic plan, Der Werff said Thursday in an interview in Gothenburg, Sweden. Operations have stabilized since the end of a pilot strike in August, the CEO said, and while the dispute cost “considerable money” and “disappointed a lot of people,” the first two weeks of September have produced a “far better” operational performance at the airline, with passengers rushing back. “Operationally we are stable,” he said, adding that the company’s forecasts still stand, with no sign so far that a cost-of-living squeeze will curb demand. “We are not going to put additional capacity in. But right now we are really content with how the winter is developing.” Stockholm-based SAS expects the chapter 11 process to continue until May or June, during which time the tri-national carrier will have sufficient liquidity, aided by the flow of cash from its own operations, according to the CEO. Read more.