SAS has see continued positive trend for passenger demand through the second quarter. The carrier reported that 5.4 million passengers flew with SAS during the quarter, which represents an increase of 36% compared with the same period last year. The overall underlying demand for travel was healthy during the quarter, despite the economic uncertainties in society as a whole.
During the quarter, SAS continued to increase its capacity for the summer and autumn adding new destinations and higher frequencies to popular destinations. The carrier added another ten routes for the upcoming summer and autumn, in addition to the 20 new routes announced in the first quarter. The airline has inaugurated three new direct intercontinental routes, from Aalborg to New York, from Gothenburg to New York, and from Copenhagen to New York. SAS is also resuming traffic to Tokyo in June, and as announced after the quarter ended, is bringing back a direct route from Copenhagen to Bangkok, Thailand to its passengers as well as adding weekly flights to Agadir, Morocco, starting this autumn.
Earnings before tax ended at negative SEK -1.4 billion, representing a year-on-year improvement of SEK 143 million. Jet-fuel prices and currency exchange rates continue to bring strong headwinds for the business. Cost reductions across the business remain in focus to secure cost competitiveness. Total operating expenses for the quarter ended at SEK 9.9 billion. Total operating revenue landed at SEK 9.0 billion for the quarter, a year-on-year improvement of approximately SEK 1.9 billion.
The cash balance at the end of the quarter was SEK 5.6 billion. Operational cash flow during the quarter amounted to an inflow of SEK 2.5 billion, up slightly year-on-year.
The airline emphasised that it is making progress in its Chapter 11 process in the US and in reaching its overall targets in the SAS FORWARD plan. During the quarter, SAS took the next key step in SAS FORWARD – initiating the equity solicitation process. The airline is running a competitive and broad solicitation process to secure capital that will help drive its airline forward and facilitate its emergence from the Chapter 11 process in the US. (£1.00 = SEK13.51 at time of publication).