Scandinavian airline SAS hit by 1.5 billion kronor loss

AFP - [email protected]
Scandinavian airline SAS hit by 1.5 billion kronor loss
Photo: Tony Webster/

Ailing Scandinavian airline SAS reported another quarter in the red on Tuesday, albeit a narrower loss, as it said it would press ahead with its cost-cutting plan.


The airline posted a net loss of 1.5 billion Swedish kronor ($155 million, 144 million euros) in the second quarter, compared to a net loss of 2.4 billion kronor a year earlier.

SAS said it was seeing positive signs as the number of passengers rose 28 percent compared to the previous quarter.

"Looking back at the second quarter, we can see that demand improved as travel restrictions were eased," SAS chief executive Anko van der Werff said in a comment.

Revenue also grew by 27 percent compared to the preceding quarter to seven billion kronor, up 5.1 billion kronor compared to a year earlier, "but still 31 percent below the second quarter in 2019, which was unaffected by Covid-19.

"Despite this positive development, SAS continues to face substantial structural cost challenges while also facing growing competition with substantially lower cost structures than SAS," van der Werff said.


In February, the airline launched a major cost-cutting plan dubbed "SAS Forward," which included a "redesigned fleet" and a "refocusing" on long-haul flights.

The plan aims to reduce costs by 7.5 billion kronor annually, with a "full transformation" of the business that will affect "its network, fleet, labour agreements and other cost structures."

On Tuesday, the airline said it was seeking to convert "20 billion (kronor) of debt and hybrid notes into common equity," and was seeking to raise 9.5 billion kronor in new capital.

"The success of the plan depends upon SAS attracting potential new capital from the capital markets and other sources and upon SAS fully achieving the targeted SEK 7.5 billion annual cost reduction by fiscal year 2026," van der Werff said.

Hit hard by the pandemic, the airline already cut 40 percent of its workforce, 5,000 staff, in 2020.

SAS has benefited from several aid and recapitalisation plans since the start of the pandemic, mainly funded by Sweden and Denmark, which each own 21.8 percent of the company.

Shares in the airline were down over nine percent as trading opened on the Stockholm stock exchange on Tuesday.


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