June 26, 2018 – Airwise
Norway has announced it will sell its remaining shares in flag carrier SAS Scandinavian Airlines.
The Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry on Tuesday launched the sale of its remaining 37.8 million shares, representing 9.88 percent of the airline.
Norway originally held a 14.3 percent stake in the flag carrier of Sweden, Norway and Denmark, but has already sold down part of its holding.
“The transaction confirms previous communication by the Government stating that the Norwegian state is not a long-term owner of SAS. The Parliament has renewed the authorization to sell shares several times, most recently in the 2018 national budget,” the Ministry said in a statement.
The airline was founded on 1 August 1946, when Svensk Interkontinental Lufttrafik AB (an airline owned by the Swedish Wallenberg family), Det Danske Luftfartselskab A/S, and Det Norske Luftfartselskap AS (the flag carriers of Denmark and Norway) formed a partnership to handle the intercontinental air traffic of these three Scandinavian countries.
Operations started on 17 September 1946.
In 1948 the Swedish flag carrier AB Aerotransport joined SAS and the companies coordinated European operations and finally merged to form the SAS Consortium in 1951. When established, the airline was divided between SAS Danmark (28.6%), SAS Norge (28.6%), and SAS Sverige (42.8%).
In June, 2001 the ownership was changed to 21.5 to Sweden, 14.3% to Norway and 14.3% to Denmark, which added up to 50.1% state ownership and the remaining 49.9% was public ownership.
The other remaining multi-national airline is struggling money losing LIAT in the Eastern Caribbean, with up to 11 governments having some ownership, but 92.78% is owned by Barbados (50.2%), Antigua & Barbuda (30.75%) and St. Vincent & the Grenadines (11.83%), remaining 7.22% is widely dispersed.
How 11 governments can agree on anything is beyond me, I remember the days of Air Afrique formed by 11 ex-French countries, and getting to any kind of agreement was hell, and it went bust in 2002.
Then there was Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA) remember? it lasted from 1966-1972 and then they went their own way.
East African Airlines (EAA), 1946-1977, with Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, each went there own way in 1972 after $120m in debt was incurred. Kenya Airways went on to grow, Uganda Airlines eventually failed, now being resurrected as Uganda Airlines II with 2 x A330-900, 4 x CRJ900 on order, while Air Tanzania has been a “walking dead” airline for 41 years, its now been rejuvenated with 3 x Q400’s and 2 x CS300’s and 1 x B787-8 on order.
Then there was Gulf Air, from 1974, it once had Bahrain, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Dubai as 25% owners each, but one by one they bailed out to form their own airlines, Emirates (1985), Qatar Airways (2002), Etihad (Abu Dhabi 2005), and then late comer Oman Air left in 2007, now its 100% Bahraini, and improving finally.