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Winning consortium: SAS leaves Star Alliance and joins Air France KLM

Winning consortium: SAS leaves Star Alliance and joins Air France KLM

Scandinavian Airlines was a founding member. Now she is leaving Star Alliance and moving to Skyteam. Because Air France-KLM and its partners won the bidding race for SAS.

“We are proud to be a founding member of Star Alliance,” Anko van der Werff said at a press conference on Tuesday evening (October 3). The SAS President said: We are proud of what we have achieved with the alliance. However, his airline will leave the alliance after 26 years. He added: “It will not happen immediately, but rather in time.”

SAS will move to Skyteam. The reason for this is financial. As part of its ongoing insolvency proceedings, SAS has been looking for new investors to inject fresh capital. Now the Scandinavian airline has announced the winners of the bidding competition. Van der Werf said the highest bid was chosen.

Completely new ownership structure

The winning consortium includes heavyweight Skyteam. In total, the four partners are investing 12.9 billion Swedish krona, or 1.1 billion euros, in SAS. This gives the airline a completely new ownership structure.

Financial investor Castellecq will become the largest shareholder with 32 percent, the Danish state will own 25.8 percent, Air France-KLM 19.9 percent, and financial investor Lindinvest 8.6 percent. The rest of the shares will go to various creditors. Existing shareholders – including the Swedish state with 21.8 percent and the Wallenberg industrial family with 3 percent – will lose their stake.

Close relationships with Air France and KLM

In parallel with the alliance change, SAS is seeking commercial cooperation with Air France, KLM and other airlines. “By completing this process and the opportunities presented by being part of Skyteam, we will be able to match SAS’ offerings […] “More improvement,” Van der Werff comments.

Benjamin Smith is also thrilled. “This is an important day for SAS and for Air France-KLM. We are delighted to be part of the bidding consortium,” said the CEO of the Franco-Dutch group. They are looking forward to building strong business relationships with SAS.

Expansion into Northern Europe

“With its well-established position in Scandinavia and its strong brand, SAS offers huge potential for Air France-KLM. This will strengthen its position in the Nordic countries,” Smith said. This does not cost the group everything. It is investing a total of 138 million euros for its stake.