Scandinavian operator SAS has turned in a first-half operating loss of SKr4.2 billion ($506 million), a deterioration on the previous year’s figure – although the company’s second quarter improved.

It slashed operating losses for the second quarter by around 40% to just over SKr2 billion.

Demand remained low during this quarter, says acting chief executive Karl Sandlund, but the company is “continuing to successfully adapt production” to the circumstances – as demonstrated by an unchanged load factor from the previous quarter.

But revenues were down 15% on the first quarter, while costs were only down by 11%.

SAS A320neo-c-CFM

Source: CFM International

Sandlund points out, however, that SAS posted a reduced operating loss for the first time since the pandemic crisis emerged, both year-on-year and against the first quarter.

He says the company has made “active efforts” to improve operational cash-flow and cash at the end of the second quarter, totalling SKr4.4 billion, was only SKr300 million down over the three-month period.

SAS has also secured financing for the majority of its aircraft deliveries until the second quarter of 2022, he adds.

Uncertainties over the duration of the crisis, he says, make any guidance on the company’s full-year performance “impossible to provide”.