SAS to open bases beyond Nordics

Plan to be part of intense cost-cutting program
SAS says it is extending its cost-cutting and, as expectations grow for leisure travel in Europe, it is considering setting up bases outside its home market of Scandinavia.
“Customers’ perception is that a flight in Europe should cost a few hundred crowns and we need to ensure we can meet that,” chief executive Rickard Gustafson tells Reuters.
“We need to have a cost structure that is entirely competitive regardless if the competitor’s name is easyJet, Ryanair, KLM, Air France or whichever.”
Basing planes and employing pilots and cabin staff in leisure destinations like London and the Mediterranean would reduce labour costs, he said, promising further details in the second half of 2017.
“This will perhaps be a complement to what we do in order to secure what we have up here, but the growth may come outside Scandinavia.”
Battered for years by low-cost competition, SAS now expects to save SEK 1.5 billion (€154 million) in 2017-19, significantly more than previously planned.