SAS December Traffic Down 12.5 Percent

January 12, 2009

Scandinavian airline SAS posted a 12.5 percent year-on-year fall in December passenger traffic on Monday and said it expected to cut capacity further this year.

The airline, half owned by Sweden, Norway and Denmark, said its yield in November was up 3.3 percent and it forecast the yield for December would improve slightly and be positive compared with a year earlier.

November was the latest month for which figures on yield were available.

SAS said its passenger load factor fell 1.7 percentage points year-on-year to 64.8 percent in December.

State flag-carriers such as SAS have been struggling for years with overcapacity and competition from more nimble, no-frills airlines. While oil prices have come down from their lofty heights last year, the global financial crisis still represents a massive challenge.

SAS said its Profit 2008 initiative to boost revenue and cut costs was on track.

"Capacity reductions of 10 percent as announced earlier are gradually taking effect," it said. "More capacity cuts are likely to be implemented in 2009."

AirWise © Ascent Pacific 2009

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