COPENHAGEN- Scandinavian airline SAS was "surprised" that Danish authorities reported it to the police for failing to reimburse customers prevented from travelling because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it said on Tuesday.
The Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority reported SAS to the police for not complying with its order to provide refunds for unused airline tickets, the agency said earlier on Tuesday, adding to similar reports against several other carriers last month.
"SAS of course respects the Danish authorities' decision, even though we are surprised," a spokeswoman said in an email, noting that the airline had repaid 99.8% of all customers entitled to refunds.
"We regret that we did not reach the goal in full and thus have not been able to meet the deadline from the authority."
The airline has refunded more than 5 billion Swedish crowns ($601 million) to more than 2.2 million customers, it said.
In December SAS was fined 1 million Norwegian crowns ($117,341) by Norway's Civil Aviation Authority for not refunding tickets quickly enough.
"We understand that many customers have felt great frustration and we regret that they had to wait so long," the SAS spokeswoman said.
"SAS, like other airlines, has ended up in a situation that no one could have foreseen."
Aegean Airlines, Air France, Brussels Airlines, easyJet , KLM, Norwegian, Ryanair , TAP Portugal, Thai Airways and Vueling were also reported to the police by the Danish agency last month. ($1 = 8.3171 Swedish crowns)
(Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen Editing by Jason Neely and David Goodman) ((Nikolaj.Skydsgaard@thomsonreuters.com;))