SAS leads flight boom

Sweden’s airline industry is booming, with passenger traffic on Scandinavian airline SAS increasing 15.5 percent in December.

The success at SAS was reflected in figures from the Swedish state airport operator, LFV, which showed the number of passengers passing through its airports up 5 percent in 2005.

The number of passengers on SAS increased by 15.5 percent in December compared with the same month in 2004. Overall, passenger numbers were up 6.8 percent for the whole of 2005, compared with the previous year.

The company’s all-important load factor, which measures the proportion of seats filled, rose 2.8 percent to 66.5 percent for the full year.

SAS’s yield, however, was down 4.9 percent in November compared with the same month in 2004.

In a statement accompanying the figures, the company said that there was still overcapacity on the market, despite some signs of a reduction. High fuel prices and continued tough competition made prospects uncertain, the statement added.

SAS Sverige, the company’s Swedish subsidiary, reported load factors up to 64.8 percent on domestic services and 65.8 on European services. But low-cost competitor FlyMe saw larger increases, with a load factor 67.5 percent.

“We are seeing very positive developments for domestic traffic in Sweden despite the tough competition,” said SAS Sweden’s Susanne Dahlberg.

TT/The Local