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Travel industry news

28 May 2019

BY James Chapple

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TRFBLI

SAS pilots' strike 'could keep airline in the red this year'

A costly pilots’ strike means SAS may stay in the red this year, the Scandinavian carrier has predicted.

Aircraft SAS Boeing 737 tailfin
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SAS pilots' strike 'could keep airline in the red this year'

Industrial action during the airline’s first quarter pushed up losses and led the Stockholm-based airline to revise its full-year prediction.

 

The deficit in February, March and April soared year-on-year from £40 million to £100.4 million following industrial action which saw 2,700 flights cancelled, affecting an estimated 270,000 passengers.

 

This was despite turnover during the period increasing year on year from £818.4 million to £840.8 million.

 

SAS said: “In the light of the strike and the macro development, the outlook is revised as it will be challenging to reach a positive result before tax and items affecting comparability in fiscal year 2019."

 

In a statement, chief executive Rickard Gustafson added: “The pilot strike at the end of the second quarter added to the challenges already faced by SAS from a competitive market – increasing jet fuel price and a weakening Swedish krona.

 

"In addition, we see decreased demand for domestic travel especially in Sweden.”

 

SAS has struck a three-year agreement with pilot unions in Denmark, Norway and Sweden that the carrier says includes productivity improvements that will offset increased pay rates.

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