SAS reports sharp drop in June traffic

Scandinavian airline operator SAS Group saw its overall passenger traffic decrease by 14.1 percent in June compared with the same month last year.

Across all its airlines, SAS saw a similar decrease in seat capacity, while passengers carried dropped by 19.9 percent to 2.4 million passengers.

For the airline’s flagship and largest carrier, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, passenger traffic in June was off by 14 percent to 2.1 million passengers compared with the previous year, while overall traffic decreased by 14.9 percent.

The airline’s intercontinental traffic dropped by 16.2 percent, a fall SAS attributed to the weaker global economy affecting long-haul demand more than shorter routes.

Traffic on the airline’s European routes decreased by 14.3 percent, while intra-Scandinavian traffic fell by 10.0 percent.

The group is in the midst of a wide-ranging restructuring plan dubbed Core SAS, which includes roughly 4 billion kronor ($505 million) in cuts and a 20 percent reduction in capacity, as measured by available seat kilometres.

The company estimates that restructuring costs will reach around 1 billion kronor in the second quarter of 2009.

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