The airline has broken its previous monthly passenger record from 2014, though it is still behind Norwegian.
With exactly 2,738,127 passengers on its scheduled flights in June, SAS has broken its previous passenger record from 2014 when 2,727,429 passengers flew with the airline in June, which had already been the highest ever since the establishment of SAS in 1946.
Now that performance has been surpassed. However, long-time rival Norwegian has also posted its stats for the month, seeing 3,449,285 passengers in June, up 14%. This continues a trend of SAS’s monthly figures being eclipsed by Norwegian, which began a couple of years ago.
Including charter passengers, SAS transported a total of 2,948,000 travellers in June.
Load factor was also fairly high, at 81.8%, which is one percentage point higher than the same month the year before – and the highest at SAS for June since 2014 – while 83% of the seats offered were sold.
The high load factor is due, among other things, to the fact that at the end of the month the airline adapted to the strong demand in the leisure travel market, which is usually a guarantee of fuller flights. This summer, SAS will offer 50 seasonal routes throughout its network.
“The growing traffic in June shows that customers appreciate the supply of both business and leisure travel,” confirmed CEO Rickard Gustafson.
Weaker in Norway
SAS says its capacity on intercontinental routes in June was down 1.7% compared to last year, as there is a plane less in operation. But despite this, traffic grew by 2.2% driven by growth in the North American market.
Traffic on Scandinavian and European routes was up 4.9% year-on-year, and SAS emphasises that it is especially the traffic on European routes to and from Sweden and Denmark that is rising, even though SAS has repeatedly stressed that the new Swedish aviation tax impedes growth.
The Norwegian market is not so strong at the moment, as is seen on the airline’s domestic routes in Norway, where traffic fell by 1.5% in June.