Scandinavian airline SAS stuck by its goal to turn a profit in the 2012/13 fiscal year after its first quarter loss fell sharply.
SAS came close to being permanently grounded late last year when creditors threatened to pull the plug on the airline, which has not made a full-year profit since 2007.
Sweden, Norway and Denmark, which together own half the airline - along with its creditor banks - gave SAS two years to turn things around, agreeing to a new survival plan.
SAS made a pretax loss of SEK823 million kronor (USD$129.67 million) for the first quarter, which it said was due to seasonal weakness and was in line with its expectations.
It was sharply down on the loss of SEK2.68 billion kronor in the same period a year ago.
"Provided that there are no significant unforeseen external events and that jet fuel prices remain stable around current levels, we believe that there is a possibility of achieving... a positive EBT (earnings before tax) for the full-year 2012/2013," chief executive Rickard Gustafson said in a statement.
Airlines in Europe have been struggling with the economic downturn and high jet fuel prices in recent years.
No-frills carriers such as Ryanair have also pressured flag-carriers such as SAS and Finnair, which have higher costs and less flexible staff contracts.
SAS's latest survival plan aims to improve earnings by SEK3 billion kronor by cutting costs, while asset sales will strengthen the company's balance sheet by SEK3 billion kronor.
The airline has previously said its turn-around plan would improve earnings by around SEK1.5 billion kronor this year.
SAS on Thursday said it had signed a deal to form a joint venture with Swissport that will eventually take over SAS's ground handling operations as part of its long-term package.
It has also signed a USD$120 million deal to sell and lease back spare engines.
SAS still aims to sell its Norwegian unit Wideroe and some property assets to boost its balance sheet.
Gravity always wins!