Scandinavian Airlines History
Formed in August 1946 after the merger of the flag carriers of Denmark and Norway and another Swedish airline, Scandinavian Airlines handles the intercontinental air traffic of all the three partner countries. SAS started its operations in September 1946 and by 1957 became the first airline to offer transpolar services over the North Pole. Over the 1990s, SAS gradually acquired full or partial control of the local airlines in all the three countries. In May 1997, SAS formed the Star Alliance with four other airlines, namely Air Canada, Lufthansa, Thai Airways International and United Airlines. The airline was divided into four companies, SAS Scandinavian Airlines Sverige AB, SAS Scandinavian Airlines Danmark AS, SAS Braathens AS and SAS Scandinavian International AS in 2004. However, the four subsidiaries reunited in October 2009 to form SAS Scandinavian System AB. Over the next few years, SAS went through a major cost-cutting phase yet, the airline kept flying globally.