SAS removes Entire Fleet of Dash 8 Q400s from service

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Tuesday, 30 October 2007

The SAS Group Board of Directors has decided to permanently remove its entire fleet of 27 Dash 8-400 (Q400) from service following 3 accidents involving the landing gear. The aircraft operates on Danish and Swedish domestic as well as on European routes. In addition, it is operated by Widere in Norway.

In January 2000, SAS was the first customer to use the Dash 8 Q400 in its traffic operations. In total 27 aircraft of SAS Group fleet of 303 aircraft are affected, accounting for approx 5% of total aircraft seat capacity.

The aim is to replace traffic based on the Q400 by reallocating current aircraft in the SAS Group's fleet and by means of leasing.

"The Dash 8 Q400 has given rise to repeated quality-related problems and we can now conclude that the aircraft does not match our passengers' requirements concerning punctuality and regularity. SAS's flight operations have always enjoyed an excellent reputation and there is a risk that use of the Dash 8 Q400 could eventually damage the SAS brand," said John Dueholm, Deputy CEO of SAS.

Due to the decision, SAS's traffic services will be affected by flight cancellations in the period immediately ahead. The airline said that customers concerned will be given an opportunity to either rebook or have their tickets refunded. These customers are encouraged to contact the airline directly.

An early estimate of the negative impact on the SAS Group result is around 300-400MSEK for the remaining part of the year. SAS is in dialog with Bombardier regarding possible solutions regarding the current situation for the Q400 fleet including compensation.

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