SAS-Airline Plane256

SAS Company Analysis

(Circa 1995)




SAS, the 4th largest airline in Europe, needs to make a decision on engine type that will haunt or help it for the next 25 - 35 years. The stakes are very high and require anticipating the regulatory and environmental laws that will apply to the company’s fleet in the decades to come. The decision on whether to buy the DAC engine must be determined not merely by narrow economics or the company’s ethical philosophy but also by the broader question of whether a new and untried technology will be perform reliably and safely. Will the DAC green jet engine work in a B-737 without compromising the long term profitability of SAS? After five years of consideration should SAS defer the purchase decision and pursue greater clarity?

Analysis and Directly Related Recommendations

SAS Must Conform With Local Scandinavian Culture and Use a Green Engine

Using any type of engine perceived as dirty would place the company in conflict with the clear prevailing norms of the business environment in which SAS operates.


Environment taxes and negative customer response is likely to apply to using a 'dirty' engine over many years. The costs of using DAC are fixed and paid for in present terms. It is more likely that the future costs of using a dirty engine would more than outweigh the present costs and risks of using DAC engines. Thus:

SAS should buy the DAC engine

The social and governmental costs of using a dirty engine for its operational life of 25 - 35 years are likely to outweigh any present savings of doing so.

Hedge the purchase decision

SAS has committed to buying 55 planes. This should be spread out over two installments.A smaller portion should be purchased now with DAC engines and their performance and safety evaluated before buying the remaining quota of planes.

SAS must continue to preserve its favorable environmental reputation

SAS should actively participate in industry groups studying advanced technologies and aircraft designs that will achieve even greener planes and operational practices. This includes pursuing liquid hydrogen as an aviation fuel by building on the Airbus Cryoplane and Boeing's 2010 Phantom Eye, noise cancelling technologies, and other approaches to reduce the company's carbon footprint.




George Adams
Certified Public Accountant Master of Business Administration
Tel: (207) 989-2700 E-Mail:
450 South Main Street: The HQ of IQ
Brewer, Maine 04412-2339

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