In an attempt to shore up cash, Scandinavian Airline Systems is to dispose most of its Wideroe unit.
80% of the shares are to be sold to a group of investors, with an option to sell the final 20% of Wideroe in 2016.
For SAS it’s the best of both worlds – it gets the cash from the sale, whilst maintaining links with Wideroe to provide regional services. The sale is valued at SEK 2.0 billion – Approx US$305 million, to SEK 2.3 billion (US$307 million) after divestment.
The sale will include 7 Bombardier Dash-8 Q400 turboprop aircraft – which Wideroe currently leases from SAS Group. SAS will also dispose of three extra aircraft to a aviation lessor who in turn will lease them to Wideroe.
Wineroe operates a fleet based on the Bombardier Dash-8 fleet, split between:
- Bombardier Dash8-100
- Bombardier Dash8-Q200
- Bombardier Dash8-300
- Bombardier Dash8-Q400NG
Rickard Gustafsson – SAS Group President seems happy with the sale stating
“We are pleased to have developed Wideroe into a successful airline under SAS’ ownership and we look forward to continue strengthening Wideroe’s position as the leading regional airline in Norway together with the new owners”
Subject to commercial clearances, the sale should be completed in September 2013.
For SAS – it’s a needed lump of cash as it struggles for its long term survival. Last year it suffered major strikes which almost brought the airline to its knees.
Hopefully SAS can continue to grow from this position – however the situation is precarious as SAS is being eaten at the bottom by Norwegian Air Shuttle and Ryanair – and at the top by Emirates and Qatar who eat into the Far East traffic.