• Joe Breitfeller

SAS President and CEO Rickard Gustafson to Leave Airline After 10 Years in Role

Mr. Gustafson will leave SAS no later than July1st, 2021 and will join one of Sweden’s largest industrial groups. Under his leadership, the airline returned to several years of pre-pandemic profitability and the company committed to a more sustainable future for the aviation industry.


SAS' President and CEO, Rickard Gustafson - Courtesy SAS

On Monday (January 11, 2021), SAS announced that their President and CEO, Rickard Gustafson will leave the company by July 1st, after leading the company for 10 years. During his tenure, the company returned to pre-pandemic profitability and implemented sustainability initiatives as a starting point of a greener future for the industry. In Monday’s announcement, SAS’ Chairman of the Board, Carsten Dilling, said,


“I’m both disappointed and sorry that Rickard wants to move on from his important role in SAS. At the same time on behalf of the Board of SAS, I want to thank Rickard for his fantastic performance during his ten years as President and CEO. Under Rickard’s management SAS has made a remarkable turnaround, from loss to several years of profitable performance. Recently he has led the company with safe hands in the first part of the toughest crisis in the company’s 75 year history, the pandemic. Most of all, Rickard will be remembered for his excellent leadership in SAS’s sustainability initiatives, which was the starting point for a new sustainability era in the whole aviation industry. SAS is still in a critical - but stable position - and the board has of course immediately started the process to appoint a new President and CEO of SAS.”


Also commenting on his decision to leave the company, SAS’ President and CEO, Rickard Gustafson, added,


“After ten intense and stimulating years, the time has come for me to pass on the baton to the next CEO of SAS during the first half of 2021, as I have accepted an opportunity to join one of Sweden’s largest industrial groups. SAS has a strong position in the Scandinavian market and is well positioned to lead the aviation industry toward a more sustainable future once the pandemic is under control. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all esteemed colleagues, customers and other stakeholders in SAS for their engagement, loyalty and support over the years. SAS is a fantastic organization with extraordinary people that will ensure that SAS remains an important and integrated part of the Scandinavian infrastructure.”


SAS is the leading airline in Scandinavia, normally carrying over 30 million passengers annually from its main hubs in Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm to 125 destinations in Europe, the US and Asia (pre-pandemic figures). The company has targeted a reduction in carbon emissions by 25% by 2025, compared to 2005 levels, and hopes to transition to 100% biofuel for domestic flights by 2030. Additionally, SAS offers ground handling services, technical maintenance and cargo services. The carrier is also a founding member of the Star Alliance, which offers an extensive global network.



Source: SAS

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