Airline SAS’ fatalities constricted, cautious of pandemic uncertainty

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The carrier’s loss for the August-October quarter reduced from a year earlier as air travel increased, but the new Omicron coronavirus type added uncertainty, according to SAS.

The airline, which is partly controlled by the governments of Sweden and Denmark, posted a fourth-quarter loss before tax of 945 million Swedish crowns ($104 million), compared to a loss of 3.25 billion Swedish crowns the previous year.

SAS said in a statement that ticket sales were increasing, but that business ramp up was still being hampered by uncertainty. “We remain cautious due to prevailing uncertainties, but see that underlying demand is healthy once restrictions are lifted, both for business and leisure travel,” it said.

“The short-term effect of recent developments needs yet to be fully analysed, however we remain optimistic for the peak periods ahead of us.” Anko van der Werff, the company’s CEO, told Reuters that a spike in sales over the Black Friday weekend made it difficult to analyze data to see if Omicron was having an impact on demand.

“But, no-one likes uncertainty, so that’s the challenge,” he said in an interview. He said it was too early to tell how Omicron would affect SAS and that the company was sticking to its plan to ramp up its operations this year to 80% of pre-pandemic 2019.

“We have to remain agile but our plan is going back to that for the summer.”

Story by : Norvisi Mawunyegah