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SAS deal means plane tickets at Pressbyrån

What do a litre of milk, a pack of cigarettes, and a trip to Spain have in connection?

Thanks to a recent deal between Scandinavian Airlines and Norwegian business group Reitan, you could buy all three the next time you stumble into one 2,500 group kiosks.

The deal makes the new SAS-Reitan agency the largest travel company in the Nordic. The name has not been published yet, but a rumor has said the new travel company will be called GO.

The business idea is simple. Tickets to sunny beaches or other exciting places will be sold alongside chewing gum and candy bars in all of Reitan’s 2,500 stores, including 7-Eleven, Hydro Texaco and Rema stores. Tickets will also be available on the Internet.

In Sweden, Reitan owns Pressbyrån. The travel agency will be presented on Tuesday.

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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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