SAS Stops Q 400 Operation And Replaces Them


Following the recent period of events involving aircraft of the Dash 8 Q400 type, SAS’s management, following an unscheduled meeting of the Board of Directors held today, has decided to immediately discontinue the use of this type of aircraft.

“Confidence in the Q400 has diminished considerably and our customers are becoming increasingly doubtful about flying in this type of aircraft. Accordingly, with the Board of Directors’ approval, I have decided to immediately remove Dash 8 Q400 aircraft from service,” says Mats Jansson, President and Chief Executive Officer of SAS.
In January 2000, SAS was the first customer to use the Dash 8 Q400 in its traffic operations. The aircraft have accounted for approximately 5 percent of the Group’s passengers. The aim is to replace traffic based on the Q400 by reallocating current aircraft in the SAS Group’s fleet and by means of leasing.

“The Dash 8 Q400 has given rise to repeated quality-related problems and we can now conclude that the aircraft does not match our passengers’ requirements concerning punctuality and regularity. SAS’s flight operations have always enjoyed an excellent reputation and there is a risk that use of the Dash 8 Q400 could eventually damage the SAS brand,” says John
Dueholm, Deputy CEO of SAS.

In total 27 aircraft of SAS Group fleet of 303 aircraft are affected, accounting for approx 5% of total aircraft seat capacity.
SAS Group will do everything possible to mitigate the negative consequences for the passengers. Short and medium term SAS will take the following actions to handle the replacement of the Q400 fleet (with estimated time frame)

1. Review of network and reallocation of aircraft capacity within the SAS group (0-3 months)
2. External wet lease capacity (0-1 month)
3. External dry lease capacity (3-6 months)

In parallel, work has already been initiated how to replace the aircraft type long term. SAS expect to start to implement a long-term solution by second half of 2008.

An early estimate of the negative impact on the SAS Group result is around 300-400M SEK (USD 46 – 57 million) for the remaining part of the year. The estimate takes into account the above mentioned actions and lower seasonal demand in the coming months. It is based on revenue loss, fixed cost and negative feeder effects and comes in addition
to the effects communicated earlier.

Due to the decision, SAS’s traffic services will be affected by flight cancellations in the period immediately ahead. The customers concerned will be given an opportunity to either rebook or have their tickets refunded.

SAS press releases 28, 29 October 2007

By Szafi 
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