Sweden, Denmark extend credits to SAS airline

The governments of Sweden and Denmark said Tuesday they would provide more than 275 million euros in guarantees to protect airline SAS from the economic impact of the new coronavirus.

Copenhagen and Stockholm are to provide state-backed credit guarantees so SAS can borrow money from commercial banks.

The governments would each provide 1.5 billion Swedish kronor ($151.2 million or 137.7 million euros) in credit guarantees to the Scandinavian carrier, which like many airlines is suffering from a drop in demand following the outbreak of COVID-19.

“SAS is of great importance for both the accessibility of Scandinavia and Denmark. It also extends to jobs, businesses and the economy as a whole,” Danish Finance Minister Nicolas Wammen said in a statement.

Sweden and Denmark are SAS’ two largest shareholders.

SAS said Sunday it was grounding most of its planes until conditions were appropriate once again for commercial aviation.

The company said this also meant temporary work reductions for 10,000 employees, “equivalent to 90 percent of the total workforce.”

The Swedish government has announced another 3.5 billion kronor in credit guarantees for other airlines, including those with regular domestic flights and speciality operators, such as medical flights.