SAS counts cost of volcano ash chaos

Scandinavian airline SAS has estimated that the disruption caused by the Icelandic volcanic eruption has cost the airline between 650 million and 700 million kronor ($91 million) to date.

“This includes rental losses in the period to May 7th and also the costs incurred by SAS having to take care of affected customers with items such as alternative transport and reimbursement of expenses for hotel stays, meals, and so on,” the company said in a statement.

Overall, the airline industry lost more than 25 billion kronor due to the airspace closures, according to SAS estimates.

The company’s total passenger traffic plummeted as a result of the volcano ash chaos by 24.3 percent in April, compared to the same month last year. The so-called cabin factor, which shows plane occupancy, fell by 2.9 percentage points to 69.6 percent.

SAS’ main subsidiary Scandinavian Airlines saw passenger traffic decline by 24.2 percent. The cabin factor fell by 2.9 percentage points to 70.5 percent. Revenue yield fell by 10.1 percent, adjusted for currency effects. The outlook for April is uncertain but the yield is expected to be negative.

The company expects the disruption in March to have caused a shortfall of over 600,000 passengers. Adjusted for the problems caused by the volcanic ash the airline’s passenger numbers actually increased slightly during the month the airline reports.

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