Shares in loss-making SAS were suspended today after media reports that the airline was in financial difficulties, the Stockholm stock exchange said.
SAS, part-owned by Sweden, Denmark and Norway, has not made a full-year profit since 2007 and reports have been rife in recent days that the airline was struggling to find new financing, Reuters reported.
“With reference to the news articles the last days concerning the company’s financial situation, the exchange has decided to halt the trading in shares,” the Stockholm exchange said in a statement.
SAS declined to comment.
SAS has been struggling for years against fierce competition from cut-price rivals like Ryanair, overcapacity and more recently soaring fuel costs and an economic slowdown.
Years of cost cuts have improved the situation, but it has not been enough and it has been forced to raise new capital twice in the last four years.
Local media reports in the last few days have suggested the airline’s lenders were reluctant to extend financing for the company.
Reports have also suggested the airline was preparing an extensive new cost-cutting package to succeed its latest 4Excellence plan which aims for 5 billion crowns of cost cuts and revenue improvements by the end of next year.
SAS has consistently said that it is looking at efficiency measures but that nothing had been decided.
The airline publishes its third-quarter results on November 8.
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