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SAS traffic and capacity on the rise

The airline’s latest traffic figures for August show year-on-year increases across the board.

SAS released its latest traffic figures this morning, this time for the month of August, when traffic on European and intra-Scandinavian routes in particular saw big increases.

The total number of passengers increased by 4.3% during the month to 2.8 million.

Compared to August last year, total traffic (RPK) and capacity (ASK) increased by 5% and 5.2%, respectively, while SAS was not able to pick up its passenger load factor, which decreased slightly by 0.1 percentage point to 79.8%.

Nominal yield and PASK increased by 4% and 5%, respectively, with currency adjusted yield and PASK changing by -1% and 0%, respectively.

Capacity growth in the Scandinavian market has been around 4% to 5% during 2018 versus last year, the airline maintains, while “capacity growth is expected to accelerate even further” during the coming late autumn and winter.

“After serving the high demand for leisure travel during the summer holiday, SAS has in the second half of August started to adjust its capacity back toward more business oriented routes,” the carrier explains.

In its 2017-18 fiscal year, SAS is increasing capacity by around 1% to 2%, while in the 2018-19 fiscal year its “indicative plan” is to boost capacity by up to 3%, primarily due to more seats in the Airbus A320neo relative to the number of seats in the planes that are being replaced.

Rises by region
Total passenger numbers in August rose by 5.1% year-on-year. SAS says it increased scheduled capacity by 5.4% and traffic by 6.4%, resulting in a 0.7 percentage-point rise in load factor.

The capacity on its intercontinental routes increased by 0.7%, but traffic increased by 5.8%, brought upwards especially by an almost 8% rise on Asian routes.

Traffic on the European and intra-Scandinavian routes increased by 7.8% for the month, where growth was at its strongest on European routes to and from Sweden.

The traffic on SAS’ domestic routes was up 3.3%, while capacity rose 2.5%, resulting in an improvement in the load factor. Domestic routes in Norway saw increases in both traffic and capacity, while traffic increased on Swedish routes despite lower capacity.

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