Scandinavian airline SAS eyes up Irish base

SAS could follow in footsteps of Norwegian Airlines by opening Irish base to cut costs

Scandinavian airline SAS is eying up a potential base in Ireland to reduce costs, Danish newspaper ‘Berlingske’ reported on Tuesday.

Scandinavian airline SAS is eying up a potential base in Ireland to reduce costs, Danish newspaper ‘Berlingske’ reported on Tuesday.

 

Scandinavian airline SAS is eying up a potential base in Ireland to reduce costs, Danish newspaper Berlingske reported on Tuesday.

The newspaper said that the airline could be looking to follow in the footsteps of its competitor Norwegian Airlines by seeking a license to operate from Ireland so that the airline can also register aircraft here. It also suggests that SAS could seek to follow Norwegian in looking to employ staff on different terms via its international base.

London Heathrow was also cited as a potential candidate for an international base, with SAS potentially seeking an Irish license but choosing to set up its base in the UK.

Berlingske reports that SAS refused to comment on what any new hub structure might look like, but the company said that it is looking at its whole way of operating, given the extremely competitive industry in which it operates.

In December the airline said it was considering establishing bases outside of Scandinavia in an effort to cut costs further.

“We have to create the preconditions to compete on equal terms with our competitors. Therefore, we are considering changing the focus for parts of our production by establishing airline operations based outside of Scandinavia,” the airline’s CEO, Rickard Gustafson, said at the time.

Competitor Norwegian Airlines has already chosen Ireland for its international arm, Norwegian Air International. The airline recently received a licence which will allow it to fly low-cost flights from Cork and Shannon to Boston and New York, but it has been at the centre of labour issues. A number of unions claim that Norwegian’s Scandinavian parent is using the Irish company to skirt US and EU labour laws by hiring flight crew on contracts issued by companies in Singapore that offer workers poorer terms and lower protections. They argue that this breaches the terms of the EU-US air transport treaty, known as Open Skies.

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