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SAS records 78% drop with 0.6m passengers carried in October

SAS records 78% drop with 0.6m passengers carried in October
Jordan Major

Sweden-based SAS airline continues to experience the impact of the coronavirus after recording a drop of 78.7% in the number of passengers carried in October compared to last year. Traffic figures from the airline indicates that last month, about 0.6 million passengers used SAS.  

On a year-over-year basis, SAS capacity has reduced by about 73.3%. The figures show that September and October saw the demand, capacity, and load factor remain largely unchanged.

According to SAS CEO Rickard Gustafson, the October traffic mirrors September figures, but demand is more concentrated among domestic passengers. He stated that European and intercostal travel remains suppressed.

Covid-19 seconds wave shatters air travel recovery

With Europe recording, a surge in coronavirus cases in October air travel dropped across the board, and SAS was no exception. Gustafson notes that:

“Regretfully, the accelerated number of COVID-19 cases in October have led to reinforced restrictions across Europe, which naturally impacts the willingness to travel negatively. Even though we expect the low demand environment to be maintained for the next few months, our view remains firm that the ramp-up phase for the airline industry will continue until 2022 with demand returning to levels before the pandemic a few years thereafter.” 

The surge in cases has led to countries like France, Germany, and the UK impose new restrictions that have shifted air travel growth into a nosedive.  Air travel is low, but major players are optimistic that the industry will recover next year.

Notably, August was showing positive signs of recovery before the second kicked in.  

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