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SAS

SAS doubles flights as it restarts Scandinavian and US routes

Airline SAS said on Wednesday it would resume flights on several domestic and international routes in June, over two months after the operator grounded most of its fleet over the new coronavirus' impact on travel.

SAS doubles flights as it restarts Scandinavian and US routes
Flight technicians pull the covers off an SAS jet at Oslo's Gardermoen airport. Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB Scanpix / AFP
“This primarily includes domestic flights within and between the Scandinavian countries, but flights to New York, Chicago and Amsterdam from Copenhagen are also set to resume,” SAS said in a statement.
 
In Sweden, SAS is adding four destinations from Arlanda; Malmö, Ängelholm, Kalmar and Skellefteå.
 
It is also resuming flights from Stockholm to Helsinki and Turku, in Finland.
 
In Norway, where SAS is already serving all domestic destinations, it will now be possible to fly from Bergen and Stavanger to Copenhagen and from Stavanger to Aberdeen.
 
From Copenhagen, SAS is resuming international flights to Amsterdam, New York and Chicago.
   
The Scandinavian airline announced in mid-March it was halting most of its traffic and furloughing around 90 percent of its staff.   
 
In late April the airline, whose two largest shareholders are the Swedish and Danish states, announced it was laying off about 5,000 people, representing 40 percent of the company's workforce.
 
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In early May the company secured a state-guaranteed credit line of 3.3 billion Swedish kronor ($344 million or 313 million euros) to help it navigate the impact of the new coronavirus.
   
Even with the resumption of some flights, the airline continues to operate at a reduced capacity, but the added routes means an effective doubling of the aircraft in use from 15 to 30, according to SAS.
   
Finnair, of Nordic neighbour Finland, announced early last week it would start resuming its long-haul flight to Asia in July.
 
Here are the new routes which will start from this coming Monday: 
 
From June 1st
 
ARN-SFT Stockholm – Skellefteå
 
From June 2nd
 
CPH-AAR Copenhagen – Aarhus
 
From June 8th
 
CPH-AMS Copenhagen – Amsterdam
CPH-BGO Copenhagen –  Bergen
CPH-SVG Copenhagen – Stavanger
SVG-ABZ Stavanger – Aberdeen
ARN-HEL Stockholm – Helsinki
ARN-TKU Stockholm – Turku
ARN-MMX Stockholm – Malmö
ARN-KLR Stockholm – Kalmar
 
From June 10th
 
CPH-EWR Copenhagen – New York
CPH-ORD Copenhagen – Chicago

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SAS

SAS announces reduced loss and pins hopes on summer flights

Scandinavian airline SAS narrowed its losses in the second quarter, the company said Thursday, as it set its hopes on an easing of coronavirus restrictions this summer.

SAS announces reduced loss and pins hopes on summer flights
A SAS aircraft taking off in Paris. Photo: Charles Platiau/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The earnings report came a day after the governments of Sweden and Denmark announced another round of aid to the ailing carrier.

From February to April, SAS booked a net loss of 2.43 billion Swedish kronor ($292 million, 240 million euros) — 30 percent smaller than in the second quarter last year.

The company also reported an improved operating profit “for the first time since the pandemic’s outbreak, both year-on-year and compared with the previous quarter,” pointing to its cost cutting efforts.

However, the number of passengers in the period declined by 140,000 compared to the first quarter, to 857,000.

This caused revenue to fall to 1.93 billion kronor, a 15 percent drop from the preceding quarter and 63 percent from a year earlier.

“The increase in vaccination rates provides some hope for the relaxation of restrictions, and an increase in demand ahead of the important summer season,” chief executive Karl Sandlund said in a statement.

However, the CEO also noted that “many customers are now increasingly choosing to book their tickets much closer to their travel dates, which makes it difficult to predict demand during the summer.”

SAS also said it expected claims from passengers of up to 150 million kronor after a European court ruled in March that customers should be compensated over disruptions due to a pilots’ strike in 2019.

After cutting 5,000 jobs last year — representing 40 percent of its workforce — SAS announced Wednesday an additional credit line of three billion kronor from the Danish and Swedish governments, its main shareholders, to get through the crisis.

The airline received a similar loan and a capital increase last year.

READ ALSO: Virus-stricken airline SAS secures new public loan from Denmark and Sweden

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