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Scandinavian Airlines System Aktiebolag (OSE: SAS+NOK, OMX: SAS, SAS DKK), trading as SAS Group and SAS AB, is an airline holding company based at Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN) in Sigtuna Municipality, Sweden. It is the owner of the airlines Scandinavian Airlines, Blue1 and Widerøe. SAS used to own 19.9% of the now defunct Spanish airline Spanair. It also owns the aviation services companies SAS Business Opportunities, SAS Cargo Group, SAS Ground Services, and SAS Technical Services. It holds minority ownership of Air Greenland, Estonian Air, and Skyways Express. SAS Group is partially owned by the governments of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, with a 21.4%, 14.3%, and 14.3% ownership, respectively. The remaining 50% is held by private owners, of which Foundation Asset Management at 7.6% is the only significant one. The company is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, the Stockholm Stock Exchange, and the Copenhagen Stock Exchange.
The conglomerate was founded in 1951 as a merger between the three Scandinavian flag carriers Aerotransport (ABA), Det Danske Luftfartselskab (DDL), and Det Norske Luftfartselskap (DNL), after the three had been cooperating on international routes since 1946. Until 2001, the three national companies owned a fixed share of the SAS Group, after which the shares of the three companies were merged. The SAS Group previously has owned the Rezidor Hotel Group and Braathens and has had minority ownership of bmi, airBaltic, Thai Airways International, and Lan Airlines. SAS was a founder of the Amadeus Computerised Reservation System and the Star Alliance, where several of the group's airlines are members. SAS runs the frequent flyer program EuroBonus.
The airline was founded on 1 August 1946 when Det Danske Luftfartselskab A/S, AB Aerotransport, and Det Norske Luftfartselskap AS (the flag carriers of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway) formed a partnership to handle intercontinental traffic to Scandinavia. Operations started on 17 September 1946. The companies then started coordination of European operations in 1948 and finally merged to form the current SAS Consortium in 1951. When established the airline was divided between SAS Danmark (28.6%), SAS Norge (28.6%), and SAS Sweden (42.8%), all owned 50% by private investors and 50% by their respective governments. SAS gradually acquired control of the domestic markets in all three countries by acquiring full or partial control of several local airlines. In May 1997 SAS formed the global Star Alliance network with Air Canada, Lufthansa, Thai Airways International, and United Airlines.