The Scandinavian airline SAS announced a savings program at the beginning of the year. And the pilots’ strike aggravated the situation.

The ailing Scandinavian airline SAS has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States. The application is part of a business restructuring plan and is voluntary under Chapter 11 of the US bankruptcy laws, the company said. It is a financial restructuring procedure under judicial supervision.

Operations and flight schedules are not affected, the company said. However, after collective bargaining failed, the pilots at SAS went on strike, which meant that half of the flights had to be cancelled. According to SAS, 30,000 passengers are affected every day.

“There is still a lot to do”

“In the past few months we have worked hard to improve our cost structure and strengthen our financial position. We are making progress, but there is still a lot to do and the ongoing strike has exacerbated the already difficult situation,” said company boss Anko van der Werff, according to the statement. He called for an end to the strike.

SAS announced an austerity program earlier this year. According to the company, it assumes that it will be able to meet its obligations from ongoing business in the near future. The airline’s cash balance as of June 30 was SEK 7.8 billion (EUR 724 million). Discussions were also being held with several potential lenders.