SAS (Scandinavian) is shutting down its entire airline

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Is this a sign of things to come?

SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) which operates from and across Denmark, Norway and Sweden is, effectively, closing down for the forseeable future.

Virtually all flights will be suspended from tomorrow, except for a skeleton service which will be used to get passengers home.

SAS (Scandinavian) is shutting down its entire airline

Here is the statement published on its website:


Due to the coronavirus and the measures implemented by national authorities, the demand for air travel is essentially non-existent. SAS has therefore decided to put most of its operations on hold, starting Monday March 16 and until necessary prerequisites for commercial air traffic returns. 

To support our customers, we will in the next few days do our utmost to uphold a certain level of operation to enable travelers to return from their destinations.

Information regarding the traffic situation and specific flights will be constantly updated on our website. Affected passengers will be notified.

The waiting time at our call centers is extraordinary long. We kindly ask that you only call us if your flight departs within the next 3 days.”

SAS (Scandinavian) is shutting down its entire airline

Who will be next?

Will Virgin Atlantic ground its entire fleet this week? 

It is difficult to see more than a handful of routes continuing – even the Caribbean routes are now dropping away with Jamaica and the Dominican Republic already banning entry.  There may be enough cargo demand to keep some flights operating, and of course there will be passengers to bring home.

Meanwhile, Norwegian is saying that it will run out of cash in a matter of weeks.

If you thought last week was crazy, it is very possible it is going to get even crazier …..

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  1. Shoestring says:

    I can’t see the Japan Olympics going ahead this summer – but I already said that 2 weeks ago

    they are allowed to postpone it for 1 or 2 years, it’s in the contract

    • Callum says:

      Says who?

      Naturally, I no longer believe anything you say so looked it up myself and cannot find a single source for that claim. The closest I can get to is the Japanese saying that “technically” the contract says 2020 but it’s up to the IOC to cancel.

      • Abe is absolutely determined to hold the Olympics. He’s been repeating it since this started. It just depends how long until he succumbs to pressure. According to Japanese media, we won’t know until May as that’s when they have to decide.

        • Chabuddy geezy says:

          I think the bbc were reporting it is tough to reschedule the Olympics as the village is due to be given over to new owners after the games and any reschedule will clash with other events

      • Alejandro says:

        Says Mr. “It’s just a pussycat virus” 🤣

        • Who would have thought a “pussycat virus” would effectively shut down airlines 😂

          Rumours of a shutdown on Tuesday for Iberia…

      • Lady London says:

        So @Callum what is your view on Polly’s question?

  2. I’m due to fly SAS in the first week of April. While I appreciate the advance notice from SAS, I do wonder if they will persist with their current policy of not offering refunds aside from a timeboxed voucher that can only be used with SAS, should they still exist later in the year, and at a compeditive price point.

    I’m certainly no lawyer; however surely EC261 madates that in the event of flight cancellation a refund rather than a voucher? (note: not looking for compensation here, I doubt I’d win that one!)

    • TGLoyalty says:

      If the flight is actually cancelled you are due a full refund. If it’s not offered you have the ability to get your money back via a chargeback through your card issuer.

    • Lady London says:

      Covered quite a few times and recently on these pages.
      if airline cancels flight or significantly reschedules it (how much they can do this by is in the actual EU261 regs which you can google online and are very readable)….
      it is YOUR choice if you take a refund or choose to take a reroute. reroute = replacement flight. which must be reasonably close in timing to your original flight (you can negotiate this if you’ve got a reasonable airline – so forget Iberia, for one).
      It is NOT the airline’s choice to force you into a refund.
      if you take rerouting then airline also owes you dury of care, ie reasonable expenses for accommodation and food, some transport till you get your replacement flight. I fyou want a replacement flight far into the fuutre, reassure them you don’ want EU261 and some airlines will give it to you.
      In current circumstances no one is going to be getting compensation part of EU261. Best will be a redund if you want it, or a reroute+relevant expenses out of pocket and witin reason.
      Also, exceptionally, if all flights are stopped to a destination an airline may be able to deny you a reroute and force you to take a refund. That’s only happening now and possibly on the ash cloud. Very, very rare that it’s not your choice to choose a reroute and duty of care.
      Airlines like you to take the refund in normal circ’s as that means they are done and the matter (and expenses) are closed.
      In this circumstance, again exceptional, bcause cashflow has stopped on further bookings, but they still need cash to keep going till things settle down, airlines are making offers that involve you taking vouchers ratehr than cash. Be aware that a reoute “fixes” your price if you choose it and if it’s practicable, if you take a voucher you have no control over what the price will be when you use it. Jus sayin.

      Too late to tell you the rest especially asit’s easily findable in multiple coimments on the site and elsewhere but that’s the gist of it.

      • Lady London says:

        PS s.75 (only if you paid at least £1 or so on credit card not debit or charge card type) is only if it all goes to pants. Min. £100 cost on the transaction for s.75.

        Chargeback is weaker but if your card participates this is a fallback route.

  3. The headline is a very Daily Mail’ish. They are not shutting down the “entire” airline. At the press conference (which was not in english) the CEO said there would still be domestic flights.
    The headline doesn’t even match the rest of the text, because if they are shutting down the “entire” airline how can they run a “skeleton” service? Look up the word entire in the dictionary.
    Rob has written too many articles written for the Daily Mail.

    • Comments like this make me feel like I’m reading the Daily Mail. If you don’t like it, don’t visit the site.

      Rob and the rest of the HfP team are doing a great job keeping up with and letting us know the latest developments during this time of unprecedented events.

      • Callum says:

        How do so many of you have such thin skin that you cannot tolerate criticism of someone you don’t even know?

        Don’t get me wrong, it’s amusing watching the mini tantrums when people dare question dear leader, but seriously?

        (And for the avoidance of doubt – Rob does nothing to encourage this behaviour so I’m not criticising him over it)

    • He writes the headlines and and amends them as necessary to maximise browsing visibility and page views or something like that I think 🙂 At the end of the day he has a business to run just like the DM.

      • ChrisBCN says:

        I imagine it’s for SEO reasons (to drive traffic from search engines). That traffic brings ad revenue which is why we get the great information from this site each day without needing to pay a direct fee!

    • Scandinavian traveler says:

      Also, the CEO said that certain important markets would remain. Frankfurt and London was mentioned.

    • Nigel Havers says:

      I’m looking forward to the addition of a ‘Love Island’ gossip article each day to really bring in the crowds….

  4. Radisson status extended until 2022 and points expiry deadline extended by 6 months.
    (Source: generic email communication from Radisson)

  5. Oh Matron! says:

    South Africa shot to uk citizens: Cyril Ramaphosa announces measures to combat coronavirus pandemic;

  6. Funtime says:

    It’s barely two months ago since the inaugural HFP Travel awards and now, armageddon.

    Who saw it coming?

    Make no mistake, there will be massive worldwide government intervention in this global economic catastrophe. Many businesses will fall by the wayside. Maybe some of the stronger ones will thrive.

    Those individuals holding large liquid cash reserves will be the real winners and not those holding a few airmiles on different airline/hotel schemes.

    I’ve learnt a lot from this site over the last few year but there are far too many opinionated experts on this website.

    Doomsday is not here, but it will be a rough ride for many, many people.

    Stay safe and hold on for the ride of your lives.

    • Lady London says:

      Well said.
      The rich will get richer, whether they are companies or people, and sadly the poor will get poorer.
      Also in the West not just in countries that are (currently) worse off.

  7. Qatar stopping all incoming flights but still allowing cargo and transfers. But not sure they’ll be much left to transfer between soon.

  8. Out of curiosity, if countries are banning people from certain countries, what happens to the crew when they arrive? Are they exempt? How can airlines operate the return flight?
    Just trying to understand the impact on employees as I’m sure they are in uncertain times

    • Usually crew are exempt from these regulations, as they usually have different visa/visa exemptions.

  9. Novice says:

    You old wise ppl need to bring some humour to this site.

    It’s getting depressing by the minute.

    I get it everyone is miffed about travel plans including myself but we need positive energy.

    • The suns coming out tomorrow for the rest of the week, and it will be dry! So there’s good news for ya…

      • Spursdebs says:

        Excellent news, make a change poo picking the garden in the sunshine and not the rain. Always a bright side if you look!

    • Spursdebs says:

      I’ve booked 3 trips for end of year, if they get cancelled so be it, but that’s my answer to the virus and panic. I’m not reading any more about it, I’m High risk, Mums high risk.The good news is we’ve both made it through another night yay great stuff!

    • As a doctor we see the worst of it. This week 4 people were brought to A&E following a fight over toilet roll. Fortunately they only had soft tissue injuries

      • Shoestring says:


        there are some miserable sods around who don’t like the humour

        I went to Boots on Saturday and asked the assistant: ‘what kills coronavirus?’
        ‘Ammonia cleaner’, she replied.
        I said ‘Oh, sorry, I thought you worked here’

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