SAS passengers at Copenhagen airport. Photo: TT
Nordic airline SAS has announced its pre-tax profits were 30 percent higher this summer than in 2014 and said it's celebrating its best July for a decade, after years of tough competition from budget carriers.
The company reported a pre-tax profit of 1.021 billion Swedish kronor ($118 million) between May and July, compared to 756 million in the same period last year.
The Scandinavian firm's President and CEO Rickard Gustafson said he was delighted that the airline had enjoyed such a "good summer".
"In July we had the best profitability since 1995," he explained.
"The improvement was primarily driven by our commercial success and the continued effects from our systematic efficiency initiatives."
SAS also revealed on Tuesday that it had carried 2.4 million passengers in August, a small increase of 0.1 percent compared with July.
SAS planes at Stockholm's Arlanda airport. Photo: TT
The airline has focused on targeting frequent travellers in recent years and said it would continue to expand its services for Scandinavians seeking to visit the US on a regular basis.
"We have noted substantial demand from our frequent travellers for flights to the US and in 2016 we are expanding with three new routes: Los Angeles – Stockholm, Miami – Oslo and Miami – Copenhagen. At the beginning of September, we are also opening the new direct route between Stockholm and Hong Kong, which will be operated with SAS's first new Airbus A330E," announced Gustafson.
SAS, which is partially owned by the governments of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, has spent the past few years struggling in the face of growing competition from low cost airlines, including Ryanair and Oslo-based Norwegian, Europe's third-largest budget carrier.
The company announced a huge recovery plan in November 2012 which included redundancies, salary reductions and administrative cutbacks, with further cost-cutting plan initiatives
unveiled in December 2014