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Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) announced on Sunday that it would temporarily axe up to 10,000 employees, which amounts to 90% of its total workforce.
The airline owned by jointly Sweden and Denmark also halted most of its flights from yesterday in response to the growing coronavirus crisis.
“Demand for flights into, out of, and within Scandinavia has more or less disappeared,” said SAS chief executive Rickard Gustafson. “We have to adapt to current circumstances.”
The airline – which was once ranked 15th on Fortune’s 100 Best companies to work for in 2017 because of its benefits such as on-site childcare, dry cleaning, haircuts, pharmacy services and its trademark flexible scheduling – would make sure the labour reduction would be in accordance with national regulations.
Gustafson said the company had worked in the past few years to improve the financial stability of the company.
“Obviously, an airline with no revenue does not stand up for very long, but we have built good financial preparedness and good liquidity so we will manage for a good while,” he said.
“I hope and believe that there is a lot of work being done on various solutions, both in terms of supporting the flight industry through this period, but also solutions for temporary reductions in personnel.”