SAS has issued its traffic reports for January 2016, showing positive growth in passenger traffic, with a decline in passenger load factors compared to January 2015.
- Scheduled traffic (RPK) increased 11.4%
- Capacity (ASK) was up by 14.8%.
- Load factor decreased by 1.9 p.u. to 63.7%.
For reference purposes, IATA’s latest figures (December 2015 v December 2014) show European airlines averaged:
- RPK growth of 2.9% in
- ASK growth of 3.6%
- Passenger Load Factors 78.4%
In December, SAS reported:
- Scheduled traffic (RPK) increased 7.9%
- Capacity (ASK) was up by 12.7%.
- Load factor decreased by 3.1 p.u. to 68.2%.
SAS Passenger numbers
- SAS carried 1.9 million scheduled passengers in December, up 2.1%.
- SAS carried 1.8 million scheduled passengers in January, up 5.2%.
The preliminary currency adjusted yield and PASK were down 7% and 10% in January 2016.
The nominal yield and PASK were also down 10% and 13% in January 2016.
For comparison, preliminary currency adjusted yield and PASK were down 9% and 13% in December 2015.
The nominal yield and PASK were also down 9% and 13% in December 2015.
Market development and commentary from SAS
Demand has been positive in Scandinavia during 2015 and in the beginning of 2016.
Overall market capacity has gradually started to increase during the last months and this trend is expected to continue, primarily on international routes.
Despite a very intensive competition coupled with a struggling oil industry, it is satisfactory to note a stable domestic business. Market demand for European leisure routes as well as long haul traffic remains strong and growing.
In response to the growing demand, SAS is increasing its intercontinental capacity by about 25% during financial year 2015/2016 through new routes and frequencies already announced.
Also, until April 2016 larger aircraft will replace phased out Boeing 717 primarily in Sweden.
Overall, this will result in a longer average stage length with subsequent effect on the yield/PASK and contribute to an expected scheduled capacity growth of 10% during 2015/2016. Excluding intercontinental expansion, capacity growth is about 1%.
SAS scheduled traffic development in January
SAS states that the increase in traffic for January (11.4%) was primarily driven by growth on intercontinental and European routes.
- SAS intercontinental traffic increased 15.9%
- Capacity was up 22.2%.
SAS states growth was driven by the new route between Stockholm and Hong Kong, and more frequencies on existing routes.
- Within Europe/Intrascandinavia, SAS increased seasonal capacity on longer leisure routes contributing to the overall capacity increase of 14.9%.
- Demand continued strong on routes to/from Sweden.
- Domestic traffic was up 5.1% and capacity increased 2.1%.