More passengers are travelling with SAS

Scandinavian airline SAS said that nearly two million more people flew with the company in 2014 than the year before.

More passengers are travelling with SAS
Photo: Jeppe Bjoern Vejloe/Scanpix
SAS said on Monday that 1.9 million people had taken an SAS flight during December 2014, up 7.1 percent on December 2013.
2014 as a whole saw a nearly two million person increase in passenger numbers.
"In calendar year 2014, 28.6 million passengers travelled with SAS. That's an increase of 1.8 million in relation to 2013," said SAS CEO Richard Gustafson in a press release.

SAS added that more people were choosing to reserve seats in advance.
"We had an eventful 2014, with more passengers on board and also a higher proportion of seats being booked across nine consecutive months," Gustafson said.
But the figures showed that fewer people were choosing SAS for intercontinental flights, with passenger numbers down 3.8 percent on 2013.
SAS has come under increasing pressure in recent years from low-cost rivals including Ryanair, which announced a new Copenhagen base, and the Oslo-based Norwegian, Europe's third-largest budget airline.
The competition led to a sharp fall in net profits last year.
"We have had a great growth internationally in the other months in 2014 so it is not a trend that fewer people are travelling with intercontinental routes," Henrik Edström, Media Officer for SAS, told The Local's team in Stockholm.
However he accepted that there was "ongoing price pressure on the market" and said that the company was working hard to cut costs.
The company announced a "final call" recovery plan in November 2012 which included job cuts and salary reductions and further savings worth 1.6 billion kroner were revealed in December.
This summer, the company is launching nine new routes to popular package holiday destinations and European cities. For example, passengers will be able to fly direct between Copenhagen and the cities of Edinburgh and Ankara; between Stockholm and Ankara, Budapest or Faro, between Oslo and Salzburg and between Gothenburg and Alanya, Dublin and Bergen.
SAS is fifty percent owned by the Danish, Swedish and Norwegian states.

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‘We agree to disagree’: Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

By lunchtime on Friday, talks between the Scandinavian airline SAS and unions representing striking pilots were still stuck on "difficult issues".

'We agree to disagree': Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

“We agree that we disagree,” Roger Klokset, from the Norwegian pilots’ union, said at lunchtime outside the headquarters of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise in Stockholm, where talks are taking place. “We are still working to find a solution, and so long as there is still some point in continuing negotiations, we will do that.” 

Mats Ruland, a mediator for the Norwegian government, said that there were “still several difficult issues which need to be solved”. 

At 1pm on Friday, the two sides took a short break from the talks for lunch, after starting at 9am. On Thursday, they negotiated for 15 hours, breaking off at 1am on Friday morning. 

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on the SAS plane strike?

Marianne Hernæs, SAS’s negotiator on Friday told journalists she was tired after sitting at the negotiating table long into the night. 

“We need to find a model where we can meet in the middle and which can ensure that we pull in the income that we are dependent on,” she said. 

Klokset said that there was “a good atmosphere” in the talks, and that the unions were sticking together to represent their members.

“I think we’ve been extremely flexible so far. It’s ‘out of this world’,’ said Henrik Thyregod, with the Danish pilots’ union. 

“This could have been solved back in December if SAS had not made unreasonable demands on the pilots,” Klokset added. 

The strike, which is now in its 12th day, has cost SAS up to 130m kronor a day, with 2,550 flights cancelled by Thursday, affecting 270,000 passengers.