Scandinavian airline SAS has given notice to almost 1,600 employees in Denmark, union officials said on Monday.
SAS is one of many airlines affected by the coronavirus pandemic and in April it said it planned to cut about half its workforce – or 5,000 full-time positions.
The Danish cuts translate to about 1,400 full-time positions and include 684 cabin crew, 586 ground crew and 176 pilots, Danish news agency Ritzau reported.
Christa Cere, head of the Danish Cabin Attendants Union, said personnel had been offered to convert their redundancy to a furlough period of up to 24 months, and could return when demand picks up.
“It’s a guess since it also depends on how much production resumes and how much Scandinavians opt to fly,” she said according to Ritzau.
A SAS Denmark spokeswoman said in a statement quoted by Ritzau the cuts were necessary since the airline did not expect demand for air travel to resume until 2022.
SAS also plans to reduce the number of pilots it employs in Norway and Sweden.
The governments of Denmark and Sweden, the two main shareholders in the airline, earlier this month said they were willing to inject new funds into the carrier.
Denmark and Sweden each holds almost 15 per cent of SAS. Other owners are private, including pension and insurance firms.