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Dec 1, 2008

Blue1 is to lay off about 100 pilots

Scandinavian Airlines System's Finnish subsidiary Blue1 is to lay off about 100 pilots for ten days at some point between January and May, the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) reported.

Tom Christides, a Blue1 spokesman, was quoted as saying that the carrier had excess capacity after suspending its flights to southern Europe for the winter months because of low demand.

"This winter, the company is focussing on flights to Lapland, but with fewer staff and fewer aeroplanes," Mr Christides was quoted as saying.

"Overall, capacity has been slightly reduced and the volume of passengers has dropped about ten per cent since last year."

Mr Christides told YLE that one of the problems facing Blue1 was the size of some of the aircraft in its fleet.

"The [McDonnell-Douglas] MD-90, with its capacity of 166 passengers, is too large at the moment. One does not change aircraft off-the-cuff, but that is being considered."

Blue1's fleet consists of five MD-90s, five Avro RJ85s with an 84-passenger layout and one Avro RJ100 with seating for 99 people.

YLE quoted Blue1 as saying the carrier was mulling replacing both types with Boeing 737-600s, the mainstay of the SAS fleet.


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