Scandinavian airline SAS posts profit for first time in four years

AFP/The Local
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Scandinavian airline SAS posts profit for first time in four years
SAS presented its third-quarter results on Friday. Photo: Andy Prhat/SAS

SAS is back in the black after four years of negative results, following solid demand and lower fuel costs.


The carrier, whose main shareholders are the Danish and Swedish states, posted a net profit of 461 million kronor ($42 million) in the three months to July 31st after a 1.9 billion kronor loss a year earlier.

"Almost seven million passengers flew with SAS in the third quarter, the highest number since the pandemic," the airline said.

Sales revenue soared 54 percent to 13.17 billion kronor during the period.

Recent years had seen the carrier struggling with costs and the effects on travel of the pandemic, as well as a pilot strike – a scenario which in July last year saw it file for bankruptcy protection.

Shares in the company – with a market capitalisation now around $260 million after the recent turbulence – jumped some 17 percent in early trading on the Stockholm bourse before settling down to a ten percent gain mid-session.

The airline launched a massive cost-cutting plan last year after entering Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and a 15-day pilot strike that cost it up to $12 million a day.


The pilot strike came in protest against salary cuts demanded by management as part of the restructuring plan also involving seeking to increase capital by around $1 billion and taking a $700 million loan.

But in May, the company suffered a setback when the EU court of first instance cancelled the recapitalisation plan set up in 2020 with the support of the Danish and Swedish states.

SAS said without giving details that potential investors had shown "substantial" interest in coming aboard.

Danish daily Berlingske reported in April that SAS was headed for a stock delisting with US investment fund Apollo targeting a majority stake.



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