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SAS to leave Star Alliance and join SkyTeam

Old Oct 3, 2023, 3:27 pm
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Last edit by: Nick Art
SAS plans to leave Star Alliance and join SkyTeam

On the 3rd of October SAS announced further steps as part of their SAS FORWARD plan. SAS has raised nearly 12.9 billion SEK as part of their Chapter 11 restructuring process. This will mean current shareholders are wiped out and the company will be delisted.

The new owners include Air France-KLM, Castlelake, Lind Invest and the Danish state.

As such, SAS plans to leave Star Alliance and join Air France-KLM's Sky Team alliance by summer 2024.



FAQ:

What does this mean for EuroBonus?
  • Eurobonus members can still book travel on Star Alliance carriers until the end of the transition period.
  • Future affiliation with Air France-KLM's Flying Blue frequent flyer programme has not yet been decided.
  • In the meantime the agreement between SAS and the investing consortium includes a provision for preparations of merging EuroBonus into FlyingBlue once AF-KLM owns more than 50% of the outstanding shares. It thus seems very likely that EuroBonus will ultimately be merged into FlyingBlue, the timeline and details of this are, however, still unclear.

SAS EuroBonus FAQ:
On October 3rd 2023, SAS announced the intention to eventually join SkyTeam and leave Star Alliance. For now the EuroBonus program remains unchanged. SAS will keep you informed about what to expect over the coming months and will provide updates continuously on the EuroBonus website.

1. What will happen to EuroBonus?
  • No changes are being made to the program and EuroBonus will remain SAS's loyalty program. As a member, you will continue to earn and use points on SAS as today. Your status and benefits as a EuroBonus member when you fly with SAS will not be impacted. Delivering an attractive loyalty program to SAS's loyal customers will remain the top priority for us and our new owners, even after SAS changes ownership and alliance. SAS intends to eventually leave Star Alliance and join SkyTeam, and adjustments to the program will be made accordingly. As long as SAS is a member of Star Alliance, EuroBonus members can continue to enjoy the same benefits as they do today when flying on a Star Alliance partner airline.

2. What will happen to my EuroBonus points?
  • No changes are made to your EuroBonus points. You will keep all points earned until now and will continue to earn and use points just like today.

3. What will happen to my EuroBonus tier status?
  • No changes are made to your EuroBonus tier status. You will retain your status and your progress made during your qualification period. Requirements to reach each tier level and benefits included in each tier remain the same.

4. What will happen to my EuroBonus Lifetime Gold status?
  • No changes are made to the EuroBonus Lifetime Gold program. EuroBonus Lifetime Gold memberships will be honored even after SAS joins SkyTeam, and all progress made towards Lifetime Gold will be kept.

5. Do I keep my status benefits when I travel on another Star Alliance partner airline?
  • While SAS remains part of Star Alliance, you will enjoy the same status benefits as you do today when you fly with a Star Alliance partner When SAS eventually joins SkyTeam, you will also be able to enjoy similar status benefits across the extensive SkyTeam network.

6. Can I still earn points when I fly on another Star Alliance carrier?
  • While SAS remains part of Star Alliance, you will be able to earn EuroBonus Basic points when flying on a Star Alliance airline partner flights

7. What will happen to my existing Star Alliance award bookings?
  • Existing bookings remain unchanged and will be honored even if you fly after SAS eventually leaves Star Alliance

8. Can I still use my points to redeem on other Star Alliance carriers?
  • While SAS remains part of Star Alliance, we will allow you to use EuroBonus points to book Star Alliance award trips

9. Can I still earn points on credits cards and other non-airline partners?
  • Yes

10. Can I still use my EuroBonus points on non-airline partners such as rental cars or hotels?
  • Yes
11. What about other Star Alliance partner members flying on SAS?
  • While SAS remains part of Star Alliance, members of other Star Alliance member programs will keep their status benefits while flying on SAS, and will be able to spend their miles/points on SAS flights

Will there be opportunities to match with other programs to remain in *A?
  • Most likely yes, but it will have yet to be seen what opportunities will present itself.

Will AF - KLM take over control of SAS?
  • After a minimum of two years and pending regulatory permission, AF - KLM may increase its stake to grant it controlling power over SAS. However, the current situation indicates that there are agreements within the consortium, which would de facto give AF - KLM control with regards to certain aspects of SAS operations (as seen by the announcement to leave *A and join ST).

What is the ratio of the new ownership?
  • Castlelake: 32%
  • AF - KLM: 19.9%
  • Danish State: 25.8%
  • Lind Invest: 8.6%
  • Remaining equity to be distributed to existing creditors.

What happens to existing SAS shares?
  • This process makes current SAS shares lose their value. Some existing shareholders expressed displeasure about the decision and are questioning wether an American court can rule on making existing shares of SAS lose their value. It remains to be seen if legal action is taken.

Will SAS change their HUB strategy or move their HQ to Denmark?
  • This is as of yet unconfirmed but it seems likely that SAS might focus on CPH and move its HQ.

Will SAS join the SkyTeam transatlantic Joint Venture?
  • This is the stated goal of AF-KLM CEO, but will require regulatory approval.

How was this decided?
  • There was a bidding process and two bids were received. Private Equity company Apollo Global Invest had expressed interest in taking control of the airline.
  • The decision on the bids was taken roughly 30 minutes before the press conference on October 3rd as stated by Dilling.

What is the process now?
  • Nothing changes immediately. As of now SAS is still a member of Star Alliance and will continue to operate normally for the foreseeable future.
  • The announcements made today reflect the future plans, which are subject to approval by many different entities and regulatory bodies. These include the courts in the US to approve the Chapter 11 process, courts in Sweden which will have to approve the restructuring (and invalidation of shares), as well as the following, as taken out of the SAS press release: "(...) antitrust authorities, civil aviation authorities, the European Commission, and EFTA Surveillance Authority (as applicable), SAS leaving Star Alliance, the implementation of a Swedish Reorganization at the SAS AB level, and other customary conditions. There currently remains uncertainty in respect of satisfying such conditions and obtaining required approvals (...)".
  • We should hear more about if this is going through in the next couple of weeks.
  • SAS plans to exit Chapter 11 in Q2 2024 and leave Star Alliance and join SkyTeam before summer 2024.

Sources and links:

- SAS Press Release
- Communication E-Mail sent to EB members can be found in Post 114
- E24 (Information with regards to EuroBonus. Thanks to matin for the find in Post 64)
- Reuters
- AF-KLM Press Release
- SAS EuroBonus FAQ (Thanks again to matin for the find in Post 237)
- DInside on Merger of EuroBonus into FlyingBlue (Thanks to Frederik74 for the find in Post 473)
Print Wikipost

SAS to leave Star Alliance and join SkyTeam

Old Oct 3, 2023, 11:18 am
  #1  
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SAS to leave Star Alliance and join SkyTeam

SAS has today announced its next steps as part of the restructuring plan. As such the winners lf the bidding process were announced, which includes AirFrance - KLM, which plans to transition SAS from Star Alliance into SkyTeam.

A short summary and released information can be found in the above wiki post. Feel free to add information as it gets released.

__________

On a personal note: I was hoping for better news to cross my 3000 posts threshold with.
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Last edited by Nick Art; Oct 3, 2023 at 3:56 pm
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Old Oct 3, 2023, 11:18 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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General Discussion: Farewell Star Alliance, Hello SkyTeam

Hi all,
As announced today SAS will join SkyTeam. I am wondering what the thoughts are and if Flying Blue will take over EuroBonus in the future?
Sincerely,
SB
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Old Oct 3, 2023, 11:22 am
  #3  
 
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General discussion: farewell Star Alliance, hello SkyTeam

Today, SK has announced the securing of a major new investment from a group including Air France-KLM (see press release).

This means that SK will, at an as-yet-undetermined date, leave Star Alliance and join SkyTeam. A 'commercial cooperation' will begin with Air France-KLM. SK will be the first of the five founder members of *A to leave the alliance.

What are your thoughts? How will you adapt a life without LH, LX, OS, and TK as our primary alliance carriers? What prospects do you see for integration with KL, AF and SkyTeam airlines.
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Old Oct 3, 2023, 11:28 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by strikerbird
Hi all,
As announced today SAS will join SkyTeam. I am wondering what the thoughts are and if Flying Blue will take over EuroBonus in the future?
Sincerely,
SB

Seems like Anko VdW is giving back to his former masters, as he got his Scandinavian wings from working for KL in the region.

I hope the regulators prevent SAS from being part of the DL-AF/KL led revenue-sharing joint-venture. And this is not good news for award availability, award ticket pricing, nor in terms of lounge access based on elite status in the frequent flyer programs.

The only limited upside I see potentially coming for me from this is if there ends up being a CPH-MSP flight, and even that would turn out to be a case of wishing I had not wished to get my way.
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Old Oct 3, 2023, 11:38 am
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I will have no choice but to adapt, and I will likely end up earning more DL SkyPesos and DL lifetime status than I want.

And it may also mean the end of my getting *G status since SAS being in Star Alliance has been a major reason for me to care about ha having *G status.
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Old Oct 3, 2023, 11:40 am
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This might be the best news I've seen regarding SAS in 30 years. Wonder what took them so long when they put Anko at the helm.
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Old Oct 3, 2023, 11:40 am
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damn, am I wrong or Eurobonus is the only *A program offering lifetime status? that kind of invalidates the benefit.

still happy though - more choice for Skyteam.
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Last edited by straniero; Oct 3, 2023 at 11:47 am
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Old Oct 3, 2023, 11:40 am
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Wow, this came out of the (flying) blue for me! Really worried as SAS have not been very good on rebooking *A awards and now we have no hope of gettign rebooked once the inevitable flight schedule changes occur. Sitting on 4 C class tickets next summer and already see problems arising.

Can only imagine how this will affect the 2-4-1 usage and Gold4Life. My wife and I were contemplating burning our remaining 200k points and last 2-4-1 and moving on to another alliance, but I guess the switching alliances will be done for us.
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Old Oct 3, 2023, 11:41 am
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Originally Posted by straniero
damn, am I wrong or Eurobonus is the only *A program offering lifetime status? that kind of invalidates the benefit.
FlyingBlue offers lifetime status as well, depending on whether they transplant lifetime benefits, that's worth significantly more than *A Gold lifetime.
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Old Oct 3, 2023, 11:47 am
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by strikerbird
Hi all,
As announced today SAS will join SkyTeam. I am wondering what the thoughts are and if Flying Blue will take over EuroBonus in the future?
Sincerely,
SB
The press release states "As part of the transaction, SAS is intended to eventually join the SkyTeam Alliance (“SkyTeam”), of which Air France-KLM is a founding member, and exit the Star Alliance, subject to any relevant approvals and emergence from the chapter 11 process." - This would eventually imply a transition to FlyingBlue.
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Old Oct 3, 2023, 11:48 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingMoose
FlyingBlue offers lifetime status as well, depending on whether they transplant lifetime benefits, that's worth significantly more than *A Gold lifetime.
true; but it was a 'quick' way to get *a lifetime on top of FB.
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Old Oct 3, 2023, 11:50 am
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Originally Posted by straniero
true; but it was a 'quick' way to get *a lifetime on top of FB.
Well quick, it also takes a decade, just less flying. :-)

Certain other *A carriers have a great opportunity ahead of them to match lifetime status and acquire loyalty.
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Old Oct 3, 2023, 11:51 am
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With five 2-4-1unused vouchers (and two bonus trips booked in 2024) and over 0,5M eurobonus points, and EuroBonus Gold this is a bit bad taste at the moment and I need to digest...
I'm glad I did a status match w Kenya Airways (My QR Platinum is now Asante Platinum) but as a Swede who have lived with SAS for 25 years this is a lot to digest.
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Old Oct 3, 2023, 11:56 am
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As a result of that process, all of SAS AB’s common shares and listed commercial hybrid bonds are expected to be cancelled, redeemed and delisted (currently expected to occur during the second quarter of 2024). Consequently, no value is expected for existing shareholders in SAS AB and only a modest recovery is expected for the holders of commercial hybrid bonds.
Glad I cashed out my shares a week ago.

This will make my travel back to Canada interesting once it happens
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Old Oct 3, 2023, 11:58 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by straniero
damn, am I wrong or Eurobonus is the only *A program offering lifetime status? that kind of invalidates the benefit.

still happy though - more choice for Skyteam.
LH, UA and OZ have lifetime elite status offerings too.

SkyTeam airlines’ award ticket pricing/availability of most relevance to Europe-US/US-Europe related trips during traditional Scandinavian vacation seasons is the worst of the lot among the alliances.
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