Stockholm (AFP)

The Scandinavian airline SAS announced Tuesday that it will part with 5,000 employees, believing that air traffic, in free fall due to the coronavirus crisis, will not return to normal for "years".

"Given the current restrictions, SAS expects limited activity during the important summer season. In addition, it will surely take years before demand returns to its pre-Covid-19 level" , she wrote in a statement.

These job cuts represent about 40% of the company's workforce, said general manager Rickard Gustafson with the TT news agency.

Demand should not return to its pre-pandemic level "before 2022," he added.

SAS, which laid off around 90% of its employees in mid-March, will cut 1,900 full-time jobs in Sweden, 1,300 in Norway and 1,700 in Denmark.

Sweden and Denmark, the two main shareholders of SAS, announced on March 17 that they will provide state guarantees on its credits in the amount of more than 275 million euros.

The company said on Tuesday that traffic is "very limited between Norway and Sweden".

© 2020 AFP