SAS Reports +50% Increase In Demand for New Business Class

SAS reports positive demand and passenger growth for April, compared to April of last year.

  • Scheduled traffic (RPK) increased by 9.2%, and capacity (ASK) increased by 9.1%
  • April 2016 load factor was unchanged at 69.6%
  • November-April load factor saw a slight drop of 1.8 percentage points to 67.7%
  • 2.3 million scheduled passengers in April, an increase of 5.4%
  • Preliminary currency adjusted yield and PASK (Passenger Revenues/ASK) were both down 7% in April. Nominal yield (passenger revenues/RPK) and PASK were both down 11% in April 2016.
  • Intercontinental flights were SAS’ best performers in April, with an RPK increase of 31.4%, ASK increase of 37.7% compared to April of last year.
  • Europe/Intrascandinavia RPK decreased by 5.0% and ASK decreased by 5.8% for April
  • Domestic RPK increased by 8.4% in April, Domestic ASK increased by 8.2%.
  • The airline also reported that 89.6% of its flights arrived on time, and 98.7% of its flights flew as scheduled.

SAS says it expects market capacity growth to slow down slightly during summer; while demand for European leisure routes, long haul traffic and domestic routes will continue to grow.

The airline points to capacity growth in the market and cheaper fuel prices, for PASK decline from February-April. SAS increased its sales activities to adjust for this.

SAS will also increase intercontinental capacity by about 25% during its fiscal year 2015/2016 with new routes and frequencies.

The airline attributes negative load factors to the phase out of its Boeing 717 aircraft, primarily in Sweden, replaced by newer larger aircraft. Load factors were also affected by the timing of Easter, but improved throughout April.

Customers have responded positively to SAS’ new long-haul cabins. Traffic on the new long-haul Business Class increased during the month of April by more than 50%.


Marisa Garcia

After working for sixteen years in aviation, specializing in aircraft interiors design and aviation safety equipment, and getting hands-on with aircraft cabins in hangars around the world, Marisa Garcia turned her expertise into industry insight. She has been reporting on aviation matters since 2014. Every day, she's putting words to work.

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