Wed, Jan 26, 2005
Well, SOMEBODY'S Gotta Pay
You know the world has changed when
mercy missions that would have been flown for free a dozen years
ago now cost someone millions of dollars -- and that someone gets a
bill. Such is the case with SAS, the Scandinavian airline serving
Sweden, Denmark and Norway.
Those three countries this week got a bill for $4 million -- the
cost of extra flights flown by SAS from Northern Europe to South
Asia, where the airline picked up Europeans caught in the terrible
tsunami that struck December 26th.
SAS was called in by the governments of those three countries in
the very early days after the mammoth waves washed over 13
countries, including Indonesia, Thailand and India. The airline,
jointly owned by the three Scandinavian countries, says no one
should be the least surprised at the bill -- the governments
signed a contract for the flights, personnel and planes.
Sweden's Sveriges Radio reports it won't be the last bills those
governments get, according to SAS. Charter companies also flew
extra relief missions and are expected to bill the three
governments as well.
(ANN Contributor Matthew French, in Turku, Finland,
contributed to this report)
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