SAS expands summer service to Spanish beaches and Croatia; ASKs up 10% despite 2% reduction in flights

SAS hopes to get up to 120,000 annual passengers on its resumed Copenhagen-Shanghai Pudong service, an anna.aero “Route of the Week” in March 2012. This second Chinese service, after Beijing, has helped produce an 8.5% increase in SAS’ average sector length this summer.

SAS, the flag-carrier for Denmark, Norway and Sweden, has struggled financially in recent years and has come under increasing pressure from low-cost rival Norwegian as that carrier expands across Scandinavia. However, analysis of Innovata schedule data for this summer (July) using Diio Mi reveals that while the number of flights offered is down 2%, the number of weekly seats is up 2% and most tellingly capacity (as measured by ASKs – Available Seat Kilometres) is up just over 10%. What this reveals is that SAS’ average sector length this summer has grown by 8.5% from 1,232 kilometres to 1,336 kilometres. A detailed analysis of SAS’ top 12 airports (in terms of weekly seat capacity) reveals which airports are being targeted for growth and which have seen significant cutbacks.

SAS top 12 airports this summer Changes between July 2012 and July 2011

Source: SRS Analyzer / Diio Mi for July 2011 and July 2012 Figures in brackets are weekly seats during July 2012

All of the top six airports have seen ASK growth, even though the airline’s busiest airport at Copenhagen has seen a reduction in the number of flights and the number of weekly seats on offer. There has been significant year-on-year expansion at several secondary airports in Norway, notably Trondheim, Stavanger and Tromso. A summary of all routes operated this ‘summer’ (with at least two weekly frequencies) that did not operate last ‘summer’ is provided in the following table.

Scandinavian airport Destination Distance (km) Weekly Frequency
Bergen (BGO) Malaga (AGP)
Manchester (MAN)
2,717
896
2
2
Copenhagen (CPH) Dubrovnik (DBV)
Kaliningrad (KGD)
Malaga (AGP)
Palma de Mallorca (PMI)
Shanghai (PVG)
Split (SPU)
Tel Aviv (TLV)
Trondheim (TRD)
1,506
510
2,472
1,930
8,296
1,370
3,145
880
2
4
6
7
4
3
2
21
Oslo (OSL) Faro (FAO)
Gazipasa (GZP)
2,911
3,059
2
2
Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) Alicante (ALC)
Barcelona (BCN)
Dubrovnik (DBV)
Malaga (AGP)
Prague (PRG)
Reykjavik/Keflavik (KEF)
2,715
2,319
1,902
3,021
1,090
2,150
5
5
3
6
2
4
Trondheim (TRD) Copenhagen (CPH) 880 21
Source: Innovata for July 2012 and July 2011

In addition there are new weekly services from Bergen to Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and Split; Oslo to Antalya; Stavanger to Barcelona, Nice, Palma de Mallorca and Split; and Trondheim to Barcelona and Nice. The biggest increases in weekly flights at destination airports have been recorded by Dubrovnik (from 2 to 8), Palma de Mallorca (from 5 to 17), Malaga (from 8 to 24), Split (from 6 to 16), Barcelona (from 11 to 21) and Alicante (from 13 to 23).


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