Extensive SAS restructuring to cut headcount by 40%

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SAS Group expects the disposals and outsourcing of its new '4XNG' restructuring plan to shed some 6,000 personnel from the company.

Salaries will also be cut heavily, by up to 15%, and the working structures in the company will be simplified.

SAS Group expects its headcount to fall from 15,000 to 9,000. It is to negotiate with external parties to take over ground-handling operations but a timeframe has yet to be decided.

Some 800 administrative personnel will be cut across the three owner states as SAS centralises its administration to Sweden.

All SAS pilots and cabin crew will have the same conditions which will reflect conditions in the market for pay, pensions and working hours. Flight crew will fly from their home base, and not be able to include transfer to other bases in their working hours.

"SAS will therefore remove a lot of the structural barriers that have challenged the company's flexibility and profitability," it says.

While SAS has drawn up the agreements with union organisations, it says the adjustments are "so extensive" that it is giving the information directly to employees for approval before signing formal pacts with the unions.