SAS cuts 57 flights after Q400-grounding

COPENHAGEN Sun Oct 28, 2007 2:05pm GMT

Scandinavian Airlines Bombardier Q400 turboprop planes stand on the ramp at Copenhagen's airport October 28, 2007. REUTERS/Johan Nilsson/Scanpix Sweden

Scandinavian Airlines Bombardier Q400 turboprop planes stand on the ramp at Copenhagen's airport October 28, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Johan Nilsson/Scanpix Sweden

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COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Scandinavian airline SAS (SAS.ST) said on Sunday it had cancelled 57 flights because its fleet of Q400 turboprops was grounded following the crash-landing of one of the aircraft in Copenhagen.

The landing gear of an SAS Q400 collapsed on landing at Copenhagen's Kastrup airport on Saturday, but no one was seriously injured.

SAS said in a statement it had cancelled 49 flights on Sunday and eight flights on Monday.

Scandinavian aviation authorities on Saturday issued a new flight ban on all SAS's Q400 turboprops shortly after the incident.

The Scandinavian airline last month grounded its entire fleet of 27 Q400 planes, built by Canada's Bombardier (BBDb.TO), after two crash landings in September, one in Lithuania and one in Denmark.

Both incidents involved problems with the planes' landing gear, but no one was seriously hurt.

The Q400 is designed for regional services and carries up to 78 passengers.

SAS, 50 percent owned by the governments of Sweden, Denmark and Norway, restarted Q400 flights this month after hundreds of cancellations after replacing part of the landing gear, and wants compensation from Bombardier to cover the losses.

The collapse of the main landing gear in the September incidents has been attributed to corrosion. But official investigations by Lithuanian and Danish authorities have not yet been completed.

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