Scandinavian airline SAS AB will temporarily lay off up to 10,000 employees, which equals 90% of its workforce, from Monday until conditions for commercial aviation improve, it said, as demand for flights has “more or less disappeared”.
“It is important to say that we do not intend this to lead to permanent layoffs,” said the company’s chief executive officer Rickard Gustafson at a press conference in Stockholm on Sunday.
“We have to adapt to current circumstances and starting tomorrow, Monday, we will temporary pause a large part of our operations and we will heavily reduce the number of flights in our entire network,” he added.
“Obviously, an airline with no revenue does not stand up for very long, but we have built good financial preparedness and good liquidity so we will manage for a good while,” he said.
SAS said it will maintain certain routes in order to enable flights to return from various destinations. The company will be at the disposal of authorities to take home stranded citizens or maintain infrastructure that’s important to society, it said.