SAS Scandinavian Airlines (SK, Copenhagen Kastrup) has announced that it will set up a joint venture with ground handling services provider Swissport that will take over its ground handling operations and 5000 staff at various Scandinavian airports. Swissport will own 51% in the joint venture and manage the company until it will take full control of the new company at a later stage. Making further progress on its restructuring plan, several bidders for SAS' Norwegian regional subsidiary Widerøe (WF, Bodø) have emerged before the end of the deadline by this weekend. While SAS has not yet disclosed the names of the bidders it is talking to, according to Norwegian press reports Swedish aviation group Braathens Aviation, Norwegian ferry operators Fjord1 and Torghatten, flybe. Nordic (Helsinki Vantaa) and a group of Widerøe pilots are among the companies that have submitted bids.