By RICHIE MALOUF
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) — After a tumultuous weekend of flight delays and cancellations, Scandinavian Airlines announced Tuesday its plan to file for bankruptcy protection in the U.S.
With many difficulties facing the airline industry, SAS has decided to file for chapter 11, otherwise known as reorganization bankruptcy, which involves reorganizing a debtor’s assets and debts.
SAS said it hopes this decision will help it reach an agreement with stakeholders, restructure the company’s debt and receive a large amount of capital to stay in the market.
SAS plans to complete the process within nine to 12 months.
The decision from SAS came after its pilots went on strike after SAS failed to reach an agreement with pilot unions.
“We’re sorry if you’re affected by the pilot strike leading to delays and canceled flights,” SAS said. “SAS is striving to reach a solution as quickly as possible to prevent additional inconveniences for travelers.”
As a result of the strike, the company said it anticipates canceling half of all of its scheduled flights, impacting about 30,000 passengers per day.
To help remedy the negative impacts of the strike, SAS is in talks with potential lenders for financing up to $700 million.
SAS is also trying to help those who had their flights canceled by booking them new tickets, but they may not be at the same time as the original booking due to a shortage of available seats.
“There are limited available seats on the market,” SAS said. “This means that we unfortunately will have limited possibilities to find a new seat within the same time frame as your current booking.”
Thousands of flights had to either be canceled or delayed over the holiday weekend as understaffed airlines attempted to keep up with a surge in demand for air travel.
Other airlines, too, have cited staffing shortages, mainly a lack of pilots, as the root cause of the industry’s issues.”We have noted that we have 100 regional aircraft on the ground that we want to fly but can’t due to lack of regional pilots,” American Airlines spokesperson Brian Metham said. “Like many network carriers, American has reduced our regional flying in recent months in response to the regional pilot shortage.”