SAS profits fall back

Scandinavian airline SAS has reported profits of 536 million kronor in the third quarter, down from 851 million in the same period last year, despite a record number of passengers.

Turnover at the company increased to 16.8 billion kronor from 16.3 billion kronor.

“Unfortunately, the year has been characterized by several negative events that have affected our customers and employees, as well as having a negative impact on earnings. However, I am convinced that we will be stronger for this experience,” wrote CEO Mats Jansson in the report.

The airline said it expected the number of passengers to increase on most markets in 2007.

The final quarter of 2007 will be negatively affected by costs associated with taking the company’s accident-hit Dash Q400 fleet out of service. This is expected to cost the company between 400 million and 500 million kronor, including loss of income and fixed costs.

“We are now working intensively to deploy replacement capacity in various forms. We expect to be able to commence implementation of a long-term solution during the second half of 2008,” said Jansson.