SAS reduces losses due high travel demand and cost-cutting

Tailplane of an SAS aircraft on takeoff.
Photo Credit: Adrian Olstad/AviationSource

SAS has released its results for Q2 2023 (February to April 2023) showing a reduction in its losses due to continued high demand in passenger travel despite global economic uncertainty.

SAS Results of the Quarter

SAS issued its Q2 results for 2023, covering February to April 2023, on the 01 June. In the press release, the airline noted a continuation of the positive trend in passenger demand but a loss in Earnings Before Tax (EBT).

The flag carrier of the Scandinavian nations saw a 36.2% increase in passengers carried compared to the same period in 2022. The total number carried was recorded as 5.4 million passengers.

The airline had also increased capacity by 25.2% compared to 2022. Load factor was also up by 7.4 percentage points to 74.3%.

The EBT was reported as a loss of 1.4 billion SEK. However, this showed a reduced loss compared to the same period of 2022 of 143 million SEK. As with many carriers, this is a slow return to profitability seen following the pandemic.

The press release also suggested the continued high jet fuel prices and fluctuations in exchange rates may have played a part in this EBT result. 

Of course, transformation programmes are continuing with a focus on reducing costs in the business. The quarter saw the operating expenses reduce by an impressive 1.9 billion SEK, with total expenses reported at 9.9 billion SEK.


The cash balance at the end of the quarter was SEK 5.6 billion. Operational cash flow during the quarter amounted to an inflow of SEK 2.5 billion, up slightly year-on-year.

Photo Credit: SAS

Final Approach for Summer 2023

The strong travel demand and high passenger numbers in Q2 seem to have provided the airline some confidence going into the Summer 2023 peak season.

Anko van der Werff, President & CEO, said: “We are pleased to see that the overall underlying demand for travel was healthy during the quarter, despite the economic uncertainties in society as a whole. We are looking forward to a busy summer season and to flying our passengers to their holiday destinations.”

SAS has expanded its network Q2, adding new destinations or increasing frequencies, all in readiness for the peak summer season. 10 routes were added specifically for the upcoming peak summer season. These join the 20 new routes announced in Q1.

Three of these are new direct intercontinental flights to New York, USA from Aalborg and Copenhagen in Denmark, and Gothenburg in Sweden. Heading East, June sees the return of Tokyo flying to the company.

There is also the return of the direct Copenhagen to Bangkok, Thailand flight. Asia is a hugely popular destination for the Scandinavian tourism market so SAS will need to re-establish its presence in the market. 

“We have a busy period ahead of us as we are entering the summer season. My colleagues at SAS are working hard to ensure that we take the best possible care of our customers and I am hugely grateful for all their efforts,” van der Werff concluded.

By Jack K Byrne 4 Min Read
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