Unsold Spanair's first-half losses double

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SAS Group's Spanair operation generated dismal second-quarter financial results which more than doubled first-half losses to SKr515 million ($82 million).

The Spanish airline had been put up for sale but SAS Group reclaimed it in June after the attempted divestment failed to attract sufficient interest.

In its second-quarter results today SAS Group reveals that Spanair lost SKr197 million in the three months to 30 June, compared with positive earnings of SKr88 million for the same period last year.

SAS Group attributes the poor performance to higher fuel costs and weaker yield, adding that economic conditions and increased Spanish domestic capacity - notably in the Canary Islands - contributed to the difficulties.

Passenger revenue for the first half was only slightly up at SKr3.98 billion.

Spanair is undergoing a restructuring programme which will slash fleet capacity and cut the number of staff.

SAS Group's other affiliate carriers also struggled over the first half, with only Finland's Blue1 generating earnings close to those last year.

Latvia's Air Baltic made a loss of SKr105 million while Norwegian regional operator Wideroe's earnings fell by 86% to SKr17 million.