Tag Archives: Scandinavian Airlines-SAS

SAS’ scheduled capacity fell nearly 95% in April 2020

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS has issued this report on April 2020 traffic:

SAS’ scheduled capacity fell with nearly 95% compared to last year as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. During April, only a limited network in Norway and Sweden was maintained.

“We continue to face challenging times that are radically impacting our business.  Even though no one can foresee exactly how passenger demand will evolve in the coming months and years, it is clear that it will take a much longer time than previously anticipated. In our view, it will take until 2022 before demand starts to reach pre-COVID-19 levels.

“The current situation forces us to take all possible measures to reduce costs and preserve cash to be able to emerge from this crisis as a sustainable, profitable and vital part of Scandinavian infrastructure.  Given the time it will take to ramp up production, we have unfortunately had to initiate processes to reduce the size of our future workforce by up to 5,000 full-time positions.

“As part of our ongoing work to safeguard our future, I’m grateful and pleased that we now have secured the SEK 3.3Bn revolving credit facility guaranteed by the states of Sweden and Denmark. This additional liquidity will, alongside our initiated cost reduction measures, give us the time needed explore further opportunities and financial support to safeguard our business,” says Rickard Gustafson, CEO SAS.

In other news, SAS has named our first Airbus A321LR  as Jarl Viking!

The airline continued on social media:

Ever since SAS was founded in Scandinavia in 1946, we have named our aircraft after the very first Scandinavians; the Vikings. The aircraft are named after kings and chiefs, explorers and conquerors, armors and rune carvers, and Gods in the Norse mythology.

Only a few exceptions have been made. That happened for instance when we in 2006 received an Airbus A319 which was named Christian Valdemar Viking, after Crown Princess of Denmark Mary and Crown Prince of Denmark Frederik’s first born, Prince Christian.

Why Jarl Viking?

While kings ruled back in the Viking era, chiefs (‘earl’ in English, ‘jarl’ in Scandinavian) had a social rank just below the king and were known in the society as the king’s right hand.

If you think you have seen the name on a SAS aircraft before, you are correct: The name Jarl Viking belonged to one of our McDonnell Douglas MD-82s – LN-RMT from January 1991 until that Jarl Viking was retired in September 2013.

SAS aircraft photo gallery:

SAS gets a financial lifeline

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS has made this announcement:

SAS AB has signed a SEK 3.3 billion three-year revolving credit facility agreement, 90% guaranteed by the Swedish and Danish states.

Since the announcements from the Scandinavian governments on credit guarantees to airlines, SAS has worked with four Nordic banks as well as respective government agencies to clarify the criteria and terms for the guarantees. The guaranteed debt package, which has been approved by the European Commission, was implemented in the context of the COVID-19 crisis and is intended to support the airline’s liquidity and prepare for the recovery of its activities.

“We are very pleased that we now have been able to secure a credit facility with the support of the Danish and Swedish governments. The agreement strengthens our financial position in a difficult period when most of our fleet is grounded.  Going forward we will continue our focused work on reducing costs and seeking additional support from the Scandinavian governments to ensure that SAS continues to be the leading provider of critical airline infrastructure in Scandinavia. As part of this we will further our dialogue with the Norwegian government to be able to access up to NOK 1.7 billion of additional state guaranteed funding,” says Torbjørn Wist, CFO of SAS.

The credit facility was coordinated by SEB. Danske Bank, Nordea, SEB and Swedbank were Mandated Lead Arrangers.

SAS to cut up to 5,000 full-time positions due to lower demand

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS has made this announcement:

As a result of COVID-19, demand is expected to be significantly affected during the remainder of 2020 and it will take some years before demand returns to the levels experienced before the outbreak. Consequently, SAS needs to adapt the business to a lower demand environment. As a consequence, SAS will initiate processes to reduce the size of its future workforce by up to 5,000 fulltime positions. 

The COVID-19 outbreak has removed most of the demand for air travel and thereby the commercial basis for airlines.  Currently, SAS is only operating a very limited domestic network in Norway and Sweden. Given the current restrictions, SAS expects limited activity in the important summer season. In addition, it will most likely take some years before demand returns to the levels seen before COVID-19.The workforce in SAS has notice periods with a mean of six months.  The uncertainty regarding demand and the time it takes to adapt the organization means that SAS must act proactively. This gives SAS the flexibility to ramp-up the business quickly if demand returns, but also to take further actions if recovery takes longer than currently envisaged.

The potential reduction of the workforce by up to 5,000 full-time positions will be split with approximately 1,900 full-time positions in Sweden, 1,300 in Norway and 1,700 in Denmark. The processes will be implemented in accordance with the labor law practices in each respective country. During this process, SAS will actively engage with its unions and other stakeholders to seek solutions to reduce the number of actual layoffs across the Group, as well as other productivity enhancements.

“COVID-19 has forced SAS to face a new and unprecedented reality that will reverberate not only in the coming months, but also during the coming years. Our ambition is to continue to be the leading airline in Scandinavia and to have a leading role in the Scandinavian infrastructure as a guarantor of national and international connectivity. In order to continue this important societal function, we need to adapt our cost base to the prevailing circumstances. Regretfully, we are forced to adapt our workforce to lower passenger demand. Not least in view of the company’s successful journey in recent years, which has been made possible by the great work done by SAS’s competent and dedicated employees. We will now work intensively together with trade union representatives and others to identify solutions so that as few people as possible are affected. Furthermore, we remain ready to quickly ramp-up operations and reduce the number of affected positions if demand recovers more quickly,” says Rickard Gustafson, CEO SAS.

SAS aircraft photo gallery:

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
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%
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%


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:

SAS will continue to operate the following routes and destinations with limited service

SAS has further clarified the routes it will attempt to operate:

In the coming weeks, SAS will continue to operate the following routes and destinations with limited service:

•    Domestic: All routes with few exceptions
•    Intra-Scandinavia: Routes between the Scandinavian capitals as well as Copenhagen to Bergen, Gothenburg and Stavanger
•    Europe: Routes to Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Helsinki, London Heathrow, Manchester, Paris, Reykjavik, Zurich, Alicante, Las Palmas, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Nice and Athens
•    USA: Copenhagen-New York, Copenhagen-Chicago and Stockholm-New York
•    Asia: Copenhagen-Tokyo

For the time being and to a limited extent, SAS will also serve other destinations in Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain and Turkey. SAS will continue to adjust the traffic program based on the demand situation and valid travel restrictions.


Above Copyright Photo: Scandinavian Airlines-SAS Boeing 737-76N WL SE-RJX (msn 34754) MUC (Arnd Wolf). Image: 949407.

SAS aircraft slide show:


SAS to shut down most of its operations, will lay off 10,000 employees

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS has made this dramatic announcement:

As an effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and the measures that authorities have taken, the demand for international air travel is essentially non-existent.

Therefore, SAS has made the decision to temporarily halt most of its traffic starting Monday March 16 until there are yet again conditions to conduct commercial aviation.

With consideration to our customers SAS will within the next few days, as far as it is possible maintain certain traffic in order to enable return flights from different destinations.


We will be at the disposal of the authorities to on their behalf take home stranded citizens or maintain infrastructure important to society, as far as possible.

Further, this means that SAS is forced to temporary work reductions which comprises up to 10,000 employees, which is equivalent to 90 percent of the total workforce.

The reductions will be implemented through all parts of the operation, according to national regulations.

SAS is carrying out these measures for the purpose of return to normal operation as soon as possible.

SAS aircraft photo gallery:

SAS suspends flights to northern Italy

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS has made this announcement:

Due to the current situation in Northern Italy regarding the Coronavirus outbreak, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark has published new travel recommendations.

The recommendation is to avoid unnecessary travel to the region. The safety of our passengers and crew being our first priority, SAS has therefore decided to suspend all flights to and from Milan, Bologna, Turin and Venice from March 4 until March 16, 2020.

All affected passengers will be notified.

SAS aircraft photo gallery: