SAS Reaches Agreements with Additional Lessors to Amend the Terms of Existing Aircraft and Equipment Lease Agreements
SAS AB (“SAS” or the “Company”) announces that it has reached agreements with 2 additional lessors, representing in aggregate 7 aircraft, to amend the terms of existing aircraft and equipment lease agreements. Including SAS’ previously announced amended agreements with lessors on October 5, 2022, SAS has now reached agreements with in total 12 lessors, representing 43 aircraft, as part of the chapter 11 process. This constitutes an important step in reconfiguring the fleet and achieving the SEK 7.5 billion in annual cost savings under the SAS FORWARD plan. The new amended lease agreements are subject to approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (the “Court”), and to the plan of reorganization in the chapter 11 process becoming effective.
On October 5, 2022, SAS announced that it had reached agreements with 10 lessors, representing in aggregate 36 aircraft, to amend the terms of existing aircraft and equipment lease agreements. These agreements were approved by the Court on October 14, 2022. Today, SAS announces that agreements have been reached with 2 additional lessors – Carlyle and SMBC – representing in aggregate 7 narrow body aircraft, as well as certain equipment related thereto.
Through the amended lease agreements, SAS is well on track in achieving the targeted annual cost savings of at least SEK 850 million to 1.0 billion in reduced aircraft lease and capital costs, which constitutes an important step in achieving the SEK 7.5 billion in annual cost savings by fiscal year 2026 under the SAS FORWARD plan. The Company intends to continue negotiations with certain other of its lessors to achieve further amendments in existing lease agreements.
Anko van der Werff, President and Chief Executive Officer of SAS, says:
“We are happy to announce that we have reached amended lease agreements with two additional lessors. We are grateful to our lessors for working constructively with us in making important progress in our chapter 11 process. We will continue to take necessary action and pursue additional lease amendments, in order to proceed with our transformation journey and reach our targets in the SAS FORWARD plan.”
Additional Information About the Chapter 11 Process and Implementation of SAS FORWARD
On July 5, 2022, to accelerate the implementation of its comprehensive business transformation plan SAS FORWARD, SAS announced that it had voluntarily filed for chapter 11 in the U.S., a well-established and flexible legal framework for restructuring businesses with operations in multiple jurisdictions. Through this process, SAS aims to reach agreements with key stakeholders, restructure the Company’s debt obligations, reconfigure its aircraft fleet, and emerge with a significant capital injection. The SAS FORWARD plan encompasses raising at least SEK 9.5 billion in new equity capital as well as reducing or converting SEK 20 billion of debt into common equity (of which a majority is on-balance sheet debt), including state hybrid notes, commercial hybrid notes, Swiss bonds, term loans from states, aircraft lease liabilities and maintenance contract obligations and other executory contract obligations. The new equity raise and debt-to-equity conversions contemplated as part of SAS FORWARD will entail very substantial dilution to existing shareholders. SAS targets to complete its court-supervised process in the U.S. within 12 months from the commencement of the chapter 11 process in July 2022.
Additional information about the Company’s voluntary chapter 11 process is available on the Company’s dedicated restructuring website, https://sasgroup.net/transformation. Court filings and other documents related to the chapter 11 process in the U.S. are available on a separate website administered by SAS’ claims agent, Kroll Restructuring Administration LLC, at https://cases.ra.kroll.com/SAS. Information is also available by calling (844) 242-7491 (U.S./Canada) or +1 (347) 338-6450 (International), as well as by email at SASInfo@ra.kroll.com.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is serving as global legal counsel, Norton Rose Fulbright is serving as special aircraft finance counsel, and Mannheimer Swartling Advokatbyrå AB is serving as Swedish legal counsel to SAS. Seabury Securities LLC and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB are serving as investment bankers, Seabury is also serving as restructuring advisor. FTI Consulting is serving as financial advisor.
For further information, please contact:
SAS Press office, +46 8 797 29 44
Louise Bergström, VP Investor Relations, +46 70 997 0493
SAS, Scandinavia’s leading airline, with main hubs in Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm, is flying to destinations in Europe, USA and Asia. Spurred by a Scandinavian heritage and sustainable values, SAS aims to be the global leader in sustainable aviation. We will reduce total carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2025, by using more sustainable aviation fuel and our modern fleet with fuel-efficient aircraft. In addition to flight operations, SAS offers ground handling services, technical maintenance and air cargo services. SAS is a founder member of the Star Alliance™, and together with its partner airlines offers a wide network worldwide. Learn more at https://www.sasgroup.net
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