SAS lays off nearly 11,000 employees in Scandinavia

SAS has issued this status report and traffic figures for March 2020:

As an effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the travel restrictions imposed by many governments, SAS capacity was reduced by over 45% compared to last year. During April, almost all flights will be canceled except for a few domestic routes in Norway and Sweden.

Just over one month has passed since we started being severely affected by the Coronavirus crisis, and we are now in a situation never before experienced. For the first time in the history of SAS, we are not offering any scheduled international flights. Since Monday this week, we are only operating a limited domestic network in Norway and Sweden. In Norway, we are serving more destinations than in Sweden following an agreement with the Norwegian government.

We remain at the disposal of public authorities and continue to play an important role in providing critical services for the Scandinavian society, including bringing home stranded citizens from various parts of the world and transporting critical medical equipment. It is important for us to contribute when and where we can in these unprecedented and challenging times. However, these flights do not compensate for the significant loss in revenue due to the travel restrictions.

In the light of the sharp decrease in revenue we must continue to adjust our costs to the extent possible. We have been forced to temporarily lay off a majority of our employees. At time of writing, nearly 11,000 employees have been temporarily laid off in Scandinavia. We have also given notice of permanent redundancy for some 120 positions in Sweden.

When the COVID-19 crisis struck with full force, SAS enjoyed a strong financial preparedness. Naturally, this has been beneficial in this difficult situation due to the travel restrictions imposed by the governments. We are pleased that Denmark, Sweden and Norway are providing some financial support, however the earmarked amounts will not suffice to secure and safeguard critical infrastructure if the situation is prolonged.

SAS has safeguarded airline traffic in Scandinavia for over 70 years and we miss being able to welcome our customers on board what we call our second home. I hope to be able to resume safe and reliable operations as soon as possible, but until then I would like to thank our customers for their patience and support, and my colleagues at SAS for their dedication to SAS and our societies during these difficult times, says Rickard Gustafson, CEO SAS.

SAS scheduled traffic Mar20 Change1 Nov19- Mar20 Change1
ASK (Mill.) 2 288 -44.9% 16 462 -9.7%
RPK (Mill.) 1 113 -61.9% 10 710 -13.6%
Passenger load factor 48,6% -21.7 p.p. 65.1% -2.9 p.p.
No. of passengers (000) 995 -59.6% 9,149 -12.6%
Geographical development, schedule Mar20            vs.           Mar19 Nov19-Mar20     vs.    Nov18-Mar19
RPK ASK RPK ASK
Intercontinental -69.9% -55.6% -18.4% -13.0%
Europe/Intrascandinavia -59.3% -42.1% -10.7% -8.5%
Domestic -52.4% -32.2% -10.1% -6.2%
SAS charter traffic Mar20 Change1 Nov19-Mar20 Change1
ASK (Mill.) 103 -53.7% 818 -7.6%
RPK (Mill.) 74 -63.5% 731 -9.9%
Load factor 71.4% -19.3 p.p. 89.3% -2.3 p.p.
No. of passengers (000) 25 -64.0% 241 -8.6%
SAS total traffic (scheduled and charter) Mar20 Change1 Nov19-Mar20 Change1
ASK (Mill.) 2 391 -45.4% 17 280 -9.6%
RPK (Mill.) 1 187 -62.0% 11 440 -13.3%
Load factor 49.6% -21.8 p u 66.2% -2.9 p.p.
No. of passengers (000) 1 020 -59.7% 9 390 -12.5%

1 Change compared to same period last year p.p. = percentage points

Preliminary yield and PASK Mar20 Nominal change FX adjusted change
Yield, SEK 1.02 +3.7% +4.1%
PASK, SEK 0.50 -28.3% -28.1%
Mar20
Punctuality (arrival 15 min) 88.8%
Regularity 86.6%
Change in total CO2 emissions, rolling 12 months -7.4%
Change in CO2 emissions per available seat kilometer -3.3%
Carbon offsetting of passenger related emissions 33%

Definitions:

RPK – Revenue passenger kilometers
ASK – Available seat kilometers
Load factor – RPK/ASK
Yield – Passenger revenues/RPK (scheduled)
PASK – Passenger revenues/ASK (scheduled)
Change in CO2 emissions per available seat kilometers – SAS passenger related carbon emissions divided with total available seat kilometers (incl. non-revenue and EuroBonus), rolling 12 months
Carbon offsetting of passenger related emissions – Share of SAS passenger related carbon emissions compensated by SAS (EuroBonus members, youth tickets and SAS’ staff travel)
From fiscal year 2020 we report change in CO2 emissions in total and per Available Seat Kilometers (ASK) to align with our overall goal to reduce our total CO2 emissions by 25% by 2030, compared to 2005.

SAS aircraft photo gallery: