SAS recommends thousands of departures – requires tax relief

SAS aircraftSAS aircraft.Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix
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SAS is canceling 2,000 flights in March as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Now the airline is demanding emergency measures such as relief of charges.

The cancellations correspond to around 8 percent of all traffic for the company, SAS tells NRK.

– “It is important that the Norwegian authorities get on track and see what the airlines are going through and look at possible measures, packages and tax relief,” says SAS press officer John Eckhoff.

Close dialogue
He says time will tell if there will be more cancellations than the 2,000 already notified.

– “We are in dialogue with the Norwegian authorities to look at what can be done, including reductions in the level of taxes. We have both the passenger charge and we have a CO2 charge. We also have this compensation framework in the EU that someone should look into,” says Eckhoff.

Last year, SAS paid almost NOK 1 billion in taxes to the state, according to NRK.

– Working on high gear
Finance Minister Jan Tore Sanner (H) tells NTB that the government is now working at high gear and monitoring vulnerable industries.

On Tuesday, he and Prime Minister Erna Solberg (H) will present the government’s preliminary assessment of the financial consequences of the coronavirus.

– “We are considering which financial measures can be targeted, and at what pace these may be phased in,” says the Minister of Finance.

To NRK, Sanner says the government is open to looking at the airline fare.

– “But we have to make assessments of what will actually work,” he emphasizes.

SAS employees infected
On Monday, it was also known that several SAS employees were infected by the coronavirus.

– “Yes, at SAS we have employees who have been infected, and we have employees in quarantine. This has been handled in accordance with the health authorities’ advice and recommendations,” says Eckhoff to Dagbladets Børsen.

The SAS press chief, however, does not want to state how many are affected.

Norwegian has also canceled several departures as a result of the Corona virus, the company announced before the weekend. Among them are three weekly flights between Oslo and the Italian metropolis of Milan.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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