SAS, Scandinavian Airlines, reports increased scheduled capacity in May by 7.2% and the traffic growth by 8.0%, resulting in an increased load factor by 0.5 p.u. to 74.0%.

SAS intercontinental traffic increased 9.8% and the capacity was up 9.6%. The growth is driven by a year-to-year affect from the added capacity on one route between Scandinavia and Miami compared to last year. On the existing network, the development was strongest on Asian routes.

The traffic on SAS’s European/Intrascandinavian routes increased by 7.5%. This was driven by a more than 10% growth on SAS’s leisure routes and positive development between Scandinavia and more business oriented European cities.

On SAS’s domestic routes, the capacity was increased by 5.2% and the traffic was up by 4.8%. The traffic had a positive development in Norway and Sweden and grew strongly on Danish domestic routes due to the new route to the Faroe Islands.

Although the demand is growing, the operating environment is challenging, with the yield at historically low levels. In addition, jet fuel prices have increased versus last year and the USD is at unfavorable levels. During May, the demand has continued to develop in line with previous months with strongest growth on intercontinental and European leisure routes.

In fiscal year 2016/2017, SAS’s total capacity growth (ASK) will amount to 6-8%. The growth will primarily be driven by a full-year effect from the new intercontinental routes that commenced during 2015/2016, increased production on European leisure routes and the fact that the Airbus A320neo is larger than the aircraft it will replace. The number of flights is expected to increase by about 2%.