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SAS to obtain Irish AOC and set up ex-Nordic bases

SAS Group is to obtain a new air operator’s certificate in Ireland and establish bases in London and Spain, to cut costs and reinforce its position in the leisure market.

These new operations will start in the winter of 2017-18.

The company states that they will “complement” its current services, and that the decision is aimed at securing its “long-term competitiveness”.

SAS says it is taking the step to ensure it has the “same pre-conditions” as other market participants, and reduce differential costs.

Chief executive Rickard Gustafson stresses that the majority of its operations will remain based in Scandinavia.

The aircraft stations in London and Spain – the specific locations, fleet size and network have yet to be identified – will have the same customer products and appearance as SAS’s other airline operations.

While the start-up costs for the new Irish AOC and the bases will “impact” earnings, the company says, the financial benefits will “gradually increase”.

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