SAS Scandinavian Airlines (SK, Copenhagen Kastrup) could see Norway completely divest itself from the venture after the Norwegian government outlined plans to either downscale or completely cut its shareholding in ten strategic firms.

In her proposal to parliament, Norwegian Minister for Industry, Monica Mæland said the move would "decentralize power" as well as "strengthen private ownership."

Concerning her government's 14.3% shareholding in the pan-Scandinavian carrier, which also includes Sweden (21.4%) and Denmark (14.3%), Mæland told Norway's NRK news: "The government believes that there are special reasons why the state should be a long-term owner of the business. (...) The government will, in the budget proposal for 2015, request an expanded mandate which allows for either a complete or partial divestment of the state's shares in SAS AB.."

Faced with increasing competition from LCCs such as Norwegian (DY, Oslo Gardermoen), Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l) and easyJet (U2, London Luton) on the regional front and Norwegian Long Haul (DU, Oslo Gardermoen) on the international front, SAS continued to slide posting a SEK800million (USD120 million) loss for its second quarter. Among cost cutting measures outlined by airline management are the loss of 300 jobs.

"...the market trend shows that it is crucial for SAS to act more aggressively and, accordingly, we are now intensifying revenue and cost measures. The additional cost measures will enhance operational efficiency and a further improvement in earnings of SEK 1 billion is expected in the 2014/2015 fiscal year," Rickard Gustafson, SAS President and CEO, said.

Other measures include the launch of additional longhaul routes to North America and Asia from Oslo Gardermoen and Stockholm Arlanda in autumn 2015 Gustafson added.