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SAS must decide for itself what it needs and who it will talk to, Espen Høiby, CEO of OSM Aviation, told the media after it became known that the Scandinavian airline intends to establish operational bases in the UK and Spain. “But we’ll be happy to offer our services,” he said.

In early February, SAS confirmed that it aims to acquire an air operator certificate in Ireland and to create bases in London and Spain for short-haul services. Several media interpreted the airline’s plans as a bid to copy parts of the model used by Norwegian, where OSM Aviation is an important partner with its many bases worldwide.

Høiby was interviewed by such publications as business daily Dagens Næringsliv and also took part in the Dagsnytt 18 magazine programme from the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK)

Interest in OSM Aviation’s business model is high, and commentators point to plans to double its current workforce from 2 700 pilots and cabin crew over the coming year. The fact that the company offers its personnel permanent jobs and enters into agreement with their unions to safeguard employee rights means that the company comes across as responsible and serious.

“We place great emphasis on having good relations with our employees,” Høiby told Dagsnytt 18. “They’re our most important asset and, without a good relationship with them, we have nothing to offer.”

He added that a big need will exist for more pilots and cabin crew in coming years, and that OSM Aviation’s solution represents the future. He also confirmed that he would be happy to talk with SAS since the company he leads already has bases in both London and Spain.