SAS Group says it is to sell 80 per cent of its shares in regional airline Widerøe's Flyveselskap to a group of investors. These include Torghatten, Fjord1 and Nordland Fylkeskommune. SAS will retain a 20 per cent share in Widerøe but intends to transfer full ownership of Widerøe in 2016. SAS said the sale represented an important step in the improvement of SAS’ financial position with a significant reduction of its financial leverage. As part of the transaction, SAS will sell seven Dash Q400 aircraft to Widerøe which are currently on lease. The loans related to these aircraft will be transferred to Widerøe. Additionally, three aircraft, currently not in use, have been sold from SAS to a lessor and subsequently leased by Widerøe. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including clearance from Norwegian competition authorities, and is expected to close in September 2013.