SAS chief executive Rickard Gustafson says it is difficult to ignore such a huge loss. The pilot strike cost the airline NOK 590 million.
The airline released the report for the second quarter of 2019, which covers the period February to April. Five days of the SAS strike fall during the quarter, the cost for this period is estimated at SEK 430 million. The total cost of the strike is approximately 650 million SEK.
– It is a disappointment to present a result that is so much worse than last year. Such a large loss is difficult to ignore, says CEO Rickard Gustafson of SAS to NTB.
The Group had a deficit of SEK 1.2 billion before tax. This is a decrease of SEK 728 million compared with the same quarter in 2018.
– The pilot strike, higher fuel price and a weaker Swedish krone have put the impression in the result.
SAS was hit by an extensive strike on April 26. Six days later, May 2, SAS agreed with the pilots about a new agreement. During the first five days of the strike, over 2,800 flights were canceled and nearly 270,000 passengers were hit. Before the strike, traffic figures showed a good development compared to previous years.
Gustafson believes that it can be difficult to achieve the forecast of a positive result this year. At the same time, he emphasizes that it does not look completely dark for the company.
– We see that SAS has good punctuality, at the same time as we take market shares and have higher unit revenues. In the future, we will focus on more efficiency, robotisation of the company, and sustainable flights, he says.
SAS signed a letter of intent with Airbus last week to jointly research the development and introduction of electrically powered aircraft. This is the first time an airline collaborates with an aircraft manufacturer in this way.
The passenger number of the airline fell by 13.9 per cent to 2.194 million in April this year, compared with April last year.