Photo Credit: Joris Wendt/AviationSource

RadarBox: SAS Still Lags Behind in Post-Pandemic Recovery

LONDON – It remains clear that Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) continues to lag behind in post-pandemic recovery on the movement statistics front provided by RadarBox.com.

The carrier has had quite a rough 2022, and the movement statistics are beginning to reflect this as well.

Without further ado, let’s get into the numbers…

The Numbers…


For this week, November 12-19, the airline handled 653 movements based on a seven-day rolling average provided by the flight tracking company.

Whilst this does represent an increase of 35.76% compared to the same period last year, the carrier is around 165 movements short of achieving pre-pandemic numbers.

This does mean that the airline still has a lot to do in terms of getting back to those numbers.

Below is the last four weeks’ worth of data:

Date2019 Numbers2021 Numbers2022 NumbersPercentage Difference (2022 vs. 2021)
October 15-22879 movements473 movements620 movements+31.08%
October 22-29806 movements473 movements623 movements+31.71%
October 29-November 5830 movements502 movements588 movements+17.13%
November 5-12829 movements506 movements593 movements+17.19%

What this data shows is the last four weeks’ worth of data is fluctuating anywhere between 590-620 movements, which again is very short of pre-pandemic levels.

Reconfiguring


The step to redressing the terms for the aircraft terms, which is a total of 36 planes. This amendment is a crucial step toward reconfiguring the fleet and being able to save up to SEK 7.5 billion (€0.69 billion) annually under the SAS FORWARD plan.

These agreements have been approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

The agreement has been done with 10 different lessors – which include AerCap Holdings, Aergo Capital, Aircastle, and Avolon – which represent 36 different aircraft, 3 wide bodies, and 33 narrowbodies, as well as certain equipment related.

These amendments are good for a saving of at least SEK 850 million (€78 million) to SEK 1.0 billion (€90 million) a year, which is able to constitute a reduction of SEK 7.5 billion a year.

Anko van der Werff, CEO of SAS, has commented on this:

“We continue to make progress in our chapter 11 process. The amended lease agreements allow us to reconfigure our fleet and improve our cost structure, which is a key element of our SAS FORWARD plan.”

“We are grateful to our lessors for working constructively with us as we continue taking necessary actions to become a more competitive airline and a stronger business partner to them.”

“We are continuing to pursue additional lease amendments so we can achieve our targets.”

On the 5th of September, Anko was also present at the World Aviation Festival, where he gave a more detailed response as to why SAS went into Chapter 11, and it goes as follows:

“So it’s very difficult to renegotiate with many of the parties that surround you, if you like, right?”

“I mean, as airlines, we have to compete with half the world, but many of our suppliers, if you like, from airports too, well, aircraft manufacturers or distribution systems are also in, there’s typically far less competition.”

“So what chapter 11 at least allows you to do is renegotiate some of those deals that otherwise would be anchored, that all would be in the years to come.”

“And it’s very tough because you have to reassess to renegotiate and become a chief negotiations officer for years these months. But it is a process that allows you step-by-step towards becoming a healthier airline.”

“Chapter 11 allows you to sit down with your lessors; you have a moment in time, a few months, in which you can then say, ‘Okay, this doesn’t work for me anymore, and either we’re going to renegotiate on the length of turn point for specific aircraft, or you can reject aircraft.”

“We’re in the process of rejecting aircraft.”

While Anko has a very good point about rejecting or reorganizing the entire fleet, this does not excuse him for bringing 2 airlines, Avianca and SAS, to a chapter 11 bankruptcy state or promising your pilots to pay for their licenses and later turning back on your words.

Going to chapter 11, whether it will make a good impact or not must be done without neglecting others.

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