SAS and its main owners have agreed on a recapitalisation plan to help ride out the collapse in air travel brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the Scandinavian airline said today. 

The plan, supported by owners Sweden, Denmark and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, would restore 14.25 billion Swedish crowns ($1.53 billion) of equity and secure around 12 billion crowns in new funding, SAS said. 

"The board supports and believes that the recapitalisation plan presents a balanced way forward given the magnitude of the recapitalisation and the conditional burden sharing measures," SAS Chairman Carsten Dilling said in a statement. 

Widespread curbs to halt its spread has grounded passenger jets across the world and left airlines struggling for survival even if recent weeks have seen tentative steps toward restarting travel. 

Germany is set to take a 20% stake in Lufthansa and SAS' Nordic rival Norwegian Air recently completed a 12.7 billion Norwegian crown ($1.36 billion) debt conversion and share sale to save it from going under. 

The plan to aid SAS includes a share issue to its main owners and a broader rights issue as well as new hybrid notes and the conversion of bonds. 

Norway has agreed to pay 500 million crowns for the airline to maintain its network. 

"We have said for quite some time that we don't need more debt, we really need new equity and that is what this plan is about," CEO Rickard Gustafson said.