Market development and commentary
Demand has been positive in Scandinavia during 2015 and in the beginning of 2016. Overall market capacity has gradually started to increase during the last months and this trend is expected to continue, primarily on international routes. Despite a very intensive competition coupled with a struggling oil industry, it is satisfactory to note a stable domestic business. Market demand for European leisure routes as well as long haul traffic remains strong and growing.
In response to the growing demand, SAS is increasing its intercontinental capacity by about 25% during financial year 2015/2016 through new routes and frequencies already announced. Also, until April 2016 larger aircraft will replace phased out Boeing 717 primarily in Sweden. Overall, this will result in a longer average stage length with subsequent effect on the yield/PASK and contribute to an expected scheduled capacity growth of 10% during 2015/2016. Excluding intercontinental expansion, capacity growth is about 1%.
SAS scheduled traffic development in January SAS increased its scheduled capacity in January by 14.8%. The traffic increased by 11.4%, primarily driven by growth on intercontinental and European routes. The overall load factor declined by 1.9 p.u. to 63.7%.
SAS intercontinental traffic increased 15.9% and the capacity was up 22.2%. The growth was driven by the new route between Stockholm and Hong Kong and more frequencies on existing routes. Within Europe/Intrascandinavia, SAS increased seasonal capacity on longer leisure routes which contributed to an overall capacity increase of 14.9%. In particular, demand continued to be strong on routes to/from Sweden. Domestic traffic was up 5.1% and capacity was increased 2.1%.