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SAS

Swe Fly facing bankruptcy

The owners of airline Swe Fly are expected to decide on Monday whether to put up new capital in order to save the company from bankruptcy.

The company, which flies from England to Pakistan via Stockholm Skavsta, suspended flights over the weekend, leaving 400 passengers stranded in Lahore.

One of the passengers who managed to find another way home was Kicki Nordström from Lidingö. She flew from Skavsta to Lahore last Monday and had her home flight confirmed on Thursday. But on Saturday, she and the other passengers were told at Lahore airport that their flight had been cancelled.

“A horrible experience,” Kicki told TT. “Many people were in complete despair.”

At Swe Fly’s office at the airport there was a note on the door with two telephone numbers – neither was answered. Nor was there a reply from Swe Fly’s offices in Stockholm or Lahore.

Instead of a direct flight home, Kicki Nordström was forced to take an 18 hour diversion with another airline.

Swe Fly cancelled Friday’s and Saturday’s flights from Skavsta. The reason, according to managing director Peter Nyblom, was a lack of cash.

“The owners are in negotiations but these are taking some time,” he told TT.

“There is a risk of bankruptcy if no new capital comes in.”

Around 400 passengers are stuck in Pakistan. The majority should be able to get home with connecting flights to the UK and Norway.

“This is a big concern. We can’t transport them home and our competitors’ planes are more or less full,” said Peter Nyblom.

Kicki Nordström criticised Swe Fly for not having contacted its passengers:

“I wonder what happened to all of those who didn’t have the option of buying a new ticket. Many of them were families with children who were visiting relatives.”

Peter Nyblom took over as managing director for Swe Fly in June, with the task of putting the company on the right track.

“The company has had it tough for a while. Pakistan’s state-owned airline PIA has driven down its prices and we’ve had a hard time responding to that. Our problem is that Pakistan is our only destination,” he explained.

The Swedish Aviation Authority said on Sunday that it was unaware of Swe Fly’s financial difficulties.

TT/The Local

SAS

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.

READ ALSO: Virus-stricken airline SAS secures new public loan from Denmark and Sweden

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