FlyMe to begin daily London service

Swedish low cost airline FlyMe is to introduce a new service from Stockholm's Arlanda to London Gatwick in the autumn.

The target market is business travellers, with one weekday early morning flight to London and one evening flight back to Stockholm. The service is due to start on October 3rd, with booking available from May 30th.

“Partly through flying to Gatwick and partly through having an ideal timetable we’re counting on offering an alternative to those customers who have so far been forced to pay for overpriced flights to London Heathrow,” said FlyMe’s chief executive Anders Holst.

The company has focused on the domestic market and connections with Finland since it began in March 2004. Traffic figures for April out on Monday showed a 105% increase in passenger numbers on the same time last year. During the same period the market for domestic air travel increased by 8% according to figures from Luftfartsverket, the Swedish Airports and Air Navigation Group.

In April FlyMe carried 50,778 passengers.

“This strong increase is in line with our plans and expectations,” said Anders Holst. But he noted that recent efforts by SAS were turning up the heat in the Swedish market.

“Throughout April the competition has increased with a dominant Scandinavian airline running a campaign where a large number of cheap tickets were released, In the light of that, FlyMe’s traffic figures for April are a strong response.”


SAS announces reduced loss and pins hopes on summer flights

Scandinavian airline SAS narrowed its losses in the second quarter, the company said Thursday, as it set its hopes on an easing of coronavirus restrictions this summer.

SAS announces reduced loss and pins hopes on summer flights
A SAS aircraft taking off in Paris. Photo: Charles Platiau/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The earnings report came a day after the governments of Sweden and Denmark announced another round of aid to the ailing carrier.

From February to April, SAS booked a net loss of 2.43 billion Swedish kronor ($292 million, 240 million euros) — 30 percent smaller than in the second quarter last year.

The company also reported an improved operating profit “for the first time since the pandemic’s outbreak, both year-on-year and compared with the previous quarter,” pointing to its cost cutting efforts.

However, the number of passengers in the period declined by 140,000 compared to the first quarter, to 857,000.

This caused revenue to fall to 1.93 billion kronor, a 15 percent drop from the preceding quarter and 63 percent from a year earlier.

“The increase in vaccination rates provides some hope for the relaxation of restrictions, and an increase in demand ahead of the important summer season,” chief executive Karl Sandlund said in a statement.

However, the CEO also noted that “many customers are now increasingly choosing to book their tickets much closer to their travel dates, which makes it difficult to predict demand during the summer.”

SAS also said it expected claims from passengers of up to 150 million kronor after a European court ruled in March that customers should be compensated over disruptions due to a pilots’ strike in 2019.

After cutting 5,000 jobs last year — representing 40 percent of its workforce — SAS announced Wednesday an additional credit line of three billion kronor from the Danish and Swedish governments, its main shareholders, to get through the crisis.

The airline received a similar loan and a capital increase last year.

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