The ash cloud substantially affected SAS Group traffic in April. – Estimated negative earnings impact of MSEK 650-700 up to May 7
The closure of the Scandinavian airspace due to the ash cloud from April 15 to 19 significantly affected the traffic figures for April. As from April 20, SAS gradually returned to normal operations. Bookings in May and June have also been affected, but to a much lesser extent. The situation in the rest of Northern Europe has been similar and the disruptions represent a major hit to the entire aviation industry.
SAS estimates the negative impact on earnings up until May 7 to be between MSEK 650 and 700. The estimate includes lost bookings up to May 7, additional costs for alternative transportation and also reimbursements to our customers such as hotel accommodation and meal expenses etc.
‘In addition to the damage inflicted to our passengers, the aviation industry has in total lost more than SEK 25 billion, due to the closure of the airspace. This is a natural disaster that is not covered by insurance in our industry. Together with our industry organization AEA, we continue to work for compensation from EU and the Scandinavian governments based on a model that avoids distortion of competition’, says Mats Jansson, CEO and President.
In April, the number of passengers amounted to 1.6 million compared with 2.2 million during April last year. The estimated effect of the traffic disruptions exceeds 0.6 million lost passengers, which indicates a small underlying passenger increase.
The yield, which is a measure of the average ticket price, fell in March by 10.1%, compared to March last year, which was more than offset by the improving load factor. This resulted in an improved RASK, which is the unit revenue, of 3.1%. There are uncertainties regarding the yield development in April due to the disruptions, but it is expected to be lower than the same period last year.
‘It is a positive sign that the number of passengers and in particular the load factor continues to improve, when excluding effects from the traffic disruptions. This provide evidence that our Core SAS strategy is providing results, as well as certain signs of improvements in the aviation business cycle’, says Mats Jansson.
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SAS discloses this information pursuant to the Swedish Securities Market Act and/or the Swedish Financial Instruments Trading Act. The information was provided for publication on May 7, 2010, at 11.00 am CET