SAS is keen to dispose of their 20% stake in BMI and is determined to withdraw from its loss-making joint venture with BD & LH on European routes as soon as the contract can be dissolved.
JÃ¸rgen Lindegaard, SAS chief executive, said in an interview with the Financial Times, that the joint venture had already cost SAS alone SKr1.5bn (Â£105m) in losses between 2000 and September this year. A loss for SAS from the venture of SKr450m was expected this year.
Under the terms of the so-called European Co-operation Agreement (ECA), which came into effect in January 2000 and runs to the end of 2007, the three airlines operate a revenue and profit-sharing joint venture comprising their European short-haul routes to and from Heathrow and Manchester.
Of the three carriers BMI operates the largest number of routes covered by the ECA, but it takes only 10 per cent of any losses, while Lufthansa and SAS each carry 45 per cent.
â€œIt is a stupid contract, but there is nothing I can do about it,â€ said Mr Lindegaard.