The airline carried 330,000 fewer passengers in December than the month before. The omikron variant gets the blame.
The case is being updated …
SAS carried 997,000 passengers in December, according to recent traffic figures from the company.
In comparison, SAS flew 1.33 million passengers in November.
– The traffic around Christmas and New Year was as expected busy, which is positive. However, the development of the omikron variant meant that both demand and staff capacity affected the entire industry, which had a negative impact on the actual number of flights during the month, says SAS CEO Anko van der Werff in a comment.
The challenging situation meant that SAS canceled around 40 flights a few days before Christmas Eve, of which 7 were in Norway, due to high sickness absence among employees.
1.2 billion in ticket revenues
The company’s occupancy rate was 57 per cent in December, with the fuller aircraft in charter traffic making a positive contribution. The filling rate was 24 percentage points higher than in December last year.
SAS had 1.22 billion Swedish kroner (1.19 billion Norwegian kroner) in ticket revenues in December, according to E24’s calculations.
This is based on the fact that the yield ended up at 0.89 Swedish kroner, while the company had 1.37 billion income-generating seat kilometers (RPK).
– We continue to be affected by the pandemic and face an unpredictable future, which means that we must be able to respond quickly to changes in demand, says van der Werff in the report.
Despite the decline from the previous month, December was far better than the same month the year before. The number of passengers in December was 156 per cent higher than in December 2020.
SAS is far from the only airline affected by new austerity measures. Before the weekend, Norwegian stated that it carried 931,000 passengers in December, a decrease of 70,000 passengers from November.
– We also had to plan this Christmas and New Year weekend based on lower demand, and the filling level is good for December as well. At the same time, we naturally notice the effect of the omicron virus and new measures and restrictions at home and abroad, said Norwegian’s CEO Geir Karlsen at the time.
For the relatively new airline Flyr, the decline in December was around 9,000 passengers from the previous month. The company is significantly smaller than the other companies, and carried a total of 51,600 passengers in December.