LONG-RUNNING restructuring efforts at Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) began to pay dividends in 1995 as the carrier's profits soared, also helped by a rise in European business traffic.

The Scandinavian carrier ended the year with a profit of more than SKr2.5 billion ($360 million), up from only SKr388 million in 1994 and of heavy losses two years before that.

The improvement came largely from restructuring, which allowed SAS to cut SKr1.3 billion from costs while raising revenues. A better mix of premium traffic in Europe, as well as an average 3% rise in fares, also contributed to a 5% growth in yields across the system.

Passenger traffic grew by only 1%, in part, because of route restructuring and the mid-year pilots strike, which cost the carrier SKr350-400 million. Most of the services within Scandinavia registered a traffic decline, including a 10% fall on the rationalised Swedish domestic network. That was offset by a 5% growth on European routes.

Source: Flight International