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SAS aims to set a higher standard for the airline industry

September 14, 2011 12:00

 With a new strategic platform that focuses on 4 central areas, SAS wants to continue to build on its positive trend and ultimately set a higher standard within aviation.

With its previous strategy, Core SAS, the airline has reduced unit costs by 23% since 2008, whilst at the same time achieving the highest customer satisfaction in 11 years and position itself as Europe’s most punctual airline for the past two and a half years. This has provided SAS with a platform that the new strategy will build on and strengthen. The airline today launched its new focus, the strategy 4Excellence, which has the goal to by 2015 achieve excellence within four cornerstones: Commercial Excellence; Sales Excellence; Operational Excellence; and People Excellence.

SAS is to maintain its position as the first-hand choice for business travelers, but will expand its offerings to strengthen its market share within the leisure travel segment.

“SAS is to be the preferred choice for Nordic travelers, whatever the purpose of their journey. Although we already have a record-high customer satisfaction level, we will offer an even better and more harmonized service, including Economy Extra on domestic routes in Scandinavia,” says Rickard Gustafson, CEO, SAS.

SAS will also create a more efficient sales model, as well as ensure that its frequent flyer program, EuroBonus, is the most attractive loyalty program in the market. The position as Europe’s most punctual airline is to be maintained and SAS is to deliver a quality and service that provide customers with the most value both in terms of time and money.

An important prerequisite to achieve sustainable profitability is SAS’s new goal to lower unit costs by 3-5% annually until 2015. This will be achieved by continued cost reductions, but also by strengthened focus on productivity improvements, including rolling out the quality and efficiency program Lean across all parts of the organization.

“I’m setting high, but realistic goals for SAS as I know we have extremely passionate, focused and competent staff in all parts of the company. We want to set our employees’ potentials free by great leadership and improve focus on those who are in direct contact with our customers. Introducing Performance Management will provide a leadership tool for systematic goal setting, follow ups and coaching. All employees are to understand how they contribute to SAS’s overall goal,” says Rickard Gustafson.

With the 4Excellence strategy, SAS shows continued leadership within the Nordic aviation industry.

A press conference with Rickard Gustafson, where he will present the strategy more in-depth, will be available live as a webcast on September 14 at 13.30. To view the webcast, please go to: http://bit.ly/SAS-webcast (https://riaportalv6-10.sas.se/owa/Anders.Lindstrom@sas.se/redir.aspx?C=8725547d8e994cfba340dcc3ed55f69c&URL=http%3a%2f%2fbit.ly%2fSAS-webcast).

Appendix:

SAS’ new vision: “To be valued for Excellence by all stakeholders”

(Stakeholders: Customers, employees, owners and society in general)

SAS’ new mission: “We provide best value for time and money to Nordic travelers whatever purpose of their journey.”

SAS new strategy 4Excellence comprises:

Commercial Excellence – harmonized and improved customer offering

Sales Excellence – efficient sales and rewarding loyalty

Operational Excellence – high quality and productivity

People Excellence – full use of leaders and employees’ potential

SAS’s goal is to achieve sustainable profitability…

SAS is to be number 1 – the Nordic region’s preferred airline, by new levels of customer satisfaction

We are to reduce unit costs by 3-5% a year

Our employee satisfaction is to be within the top 5 within the Nordic transportation industry

We will lower our total CO2 emissions by 20%

…to deliver enough returns for our owners.

SAS will provide a more in-depth presentation of the strategy and the financial aspects it has in conjunction with third quarter results that will be presented on November 8.

SAS discloses this information pursuant to the Swedish Securities Market Act and/or the Swedish Financial Instruments Trading Act. The information was provided for publication on September 14, 2011, at 12:00 p.m. For further information, please contact:
Anders Lindström
PR Director, SAS
Phone: +46 70997 3394
E-mail: anders.lindstom@sas.se (anders.lindstom@sas.se)

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