SAS Scandinavian Airlines (SK, Copenhagen Kastrup) has petitioned the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to allow it to return two more aircraft to lessors. The airline made the request in a January 9 court filing relating to its voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy status.

In an application, the carrier said A330-300 LN-RKR (msn 1660) and A320-200N SE-ROH (msn 9173) were now surplus to requirements. An attached affidavit signed by Michael Cox, the senior managing director of Seabury Securities LLC, said the two leases were at above-market rates and the decision by the airline to reject them was "a sound business judgement."

"The excess aircraft are no longer required in the debtors’ restructured fleet," the filing read. "Thus, requiring the debtors to retain the excess aircraft would impose unnecessary costs on the debtors’ estates with little to no corresponding benefit. Accordingly, rejection of the leases constitutes a proper exercise of the debtors’ business judgment as it will reduce costs for the debtors’ estates. Therefore, the rejection of the leases should be approved."

According to ch-aviation fleets ownership data, the 7.38-year-old A330-300 is at SAS Scandinavian Airlines on a financial lease with the aircraft's owner identified as a Japanese special purpose vehicle named JPA No.137 Co Ltd. The 2.94-year-old A320neo is at the airline on an operating lease from AVIC International Leasing with the aircraft's owner also a special purpose vehicle, this one named CAVIC 41 DAC.

The January 9 filing added that when SAS Scandinavian sought Chapter 11 protection in July 2022 it was operating a 100-strong fleet comprising 63 aircraft on operating leases, 15 planes subject to Japanese operating leases with a call option (JOLCO), two loan-financed aircraft, and 20 planes owned by the airline.

The lessors are required to file their responses to the carrier's petition by January 23, 2023, with a decision scheduled on February 1. The airline says both aircraft will be available for collection from Copenhagen Airport from this date.