Although the demand is growing, the operating environment has become more challenging. As noted previously, the yield has declined more than anticipated during 2016. In addition, during the autumn jet fuel prices have started to increase combined with an unfavorable USD appreciation versus the SEK. This has had a negative effect on working capital and earnings. Altogether this will have a noticeable impact on the financial development during August-October 2016.
The total capacity increase in 2015/16 amounts to 10%. In 2016/2017, SAS’s total capacity increase will be lower. The increase will primarily be driven by a full-year effect from the new intercontinental routes that commenced during 2015/2016, increased capacity on leisure routes and the fact that the Airbus A320neo is larger than the aircraft it will replace.
SAS scheduled traffic development in October
SAS increased its scheduled capacity in October by 10.4% and the traffic grew 13%. The overall load factor was 78.7%, the highest October load factor recorded for SAS. The improvement was driven by positive development on SAS’s intercontinental routes and in particular the domestic routes in Sweden and Denmark.
SAS intercontinental traffic increased 34.1% and the capacity was up 30.5%. The growth was driven by the new routes to Los Angeles, Miami and Boston and additional frequencies to New York and Shanghai.
The traffic on the European/Intrascandinavian routes increased by 1.7%. The growth was strongest on intrascandinavian routes. On domestic routes, the capacity was decreased by 0.1% but the traffic was up by 2.6%. The traffic increased in all three domestic markets.