SAS loss deepens as lockdowns choke air travel

STOCKHOLM (AFP) – Scandinavian airline SAS said yesterday its quarterly loss deepened as air travel was devastated by coronavirus lockdowns.

The carrier, which has practically stopped operating, reported a net loss of SEK3.47 billion in the three months to April, the second quarter of its financial year.

Sales fell 47 per cent to SEK5.26 billion.

In April alone, passenger numbers fell by 96 per cent, after the company announced the previous month that it would cancel most of its flights and furlough 90 per cent of staff.

The airline, whose main shareholders are the Swedish and Danish states, said last month it was laying off about 5,000 people, representing 40 per cent of its workforce.

In early May the company secured a state-guaranteed credit line of SEK3.3 billion to help it navigate the impact of the new coronavirus.