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Maersk Air declares price war on SAS

SAS is our main competitor, and we intend to squeeze them out…

SAS is our main competitor, and we intend to squeeze them out of routes departing from Denmark to other European destinations, Maersk Chief Executive Finn Oeelund said in an interview.

Maersk Air is prepared to cut prices and even to incur losses should SAS try to compete over the same routes.

As long as they bleed more than we do, that`s okay, Oeelund said. Down the road, SAS will mainly offer departures out of Stockholm.

SAS has recently launched a new route from Copenhagen to Venice and Athens, bringing it into direct competition with Maersk Air.

The moment they entered Venice and Athens, we greeted them with price cuts, Oeelund said. Maersk Air.

Commenting the above, at TravelDailyNews, the General Manager Greece of SAS, Mr Andersson said: SAS will stick to our business plan. We never change our long term strategies because of tactical price leads in the market. We are back with our classic flights from Scandinavia to Greece – in addition we continue to offer our snowflake product – and we intend to stay.

He added: Our strategy is to offer the market a sustainable and nice product. We will fly to Greece from the most suitable points in Scandinavia. Copenhagen is definitely such a point and we have no intention what so ever to concentrate to Stockholm. We are able to offer a price-worthy product and service. We have a very successful cost-cutting program behind us that has given us a strong cost position. This allows us to spend more money on customer service than any low service airlines are able to.

He mentioned also that If it only comes to compete on price we are competitive also there. Remember that SAS has

Scandinavia/s largest offer of low prices. More than 2 million passengers flew for less than EUR 65 per one way in 2003, including surcharges and taxes. New agreements with our unions will now enable us to provide even more competitive prices in all ticket categories.

Finally Mr Andersson said: As a network carrier SAS can offer a different and more complete product than point to point carriers like Maersk can. For instance Through Check in. Interlining etc etc.