Stockholm: Scandinavian airline group SAS AB on Tuesday posted a smaller first-quarter net loss as the slump in the global economy continued to weaken demand for air travel.
The Stockholm-based company said net loss for the quarter narrowed to 748 million kronor ($91.5 million) from 1.2 billion kronor in the same period a year earlier. However, the result for the first quarter 2008 included a 488 million loss from discontinued operations and the loss for continued operations remained largely unchanged.
Sales for the quarter fell to 11.4 billion kronor from 12.4 billion, the airline said.
“During the first quarter, the global economy continued to weaken at a pace that has rarely been seen before. The market is extremely unpredictable and uncertainty regarding the time of a recovery commencing remains high,” SAS chief executive Mats Jansson said in a statement.
The company said total demand is estimated to have declined by between 10 and 15% in the first quarter compared with the same period in 2008.
SAS in February announced a massive overhaul of the company including a 40 % staff cut, a reduction of the aircraft fleet, divesment of stakes in some subsidiaries and a new share issue of 6 billion kronor ($720 million).
It said Tuesday that implantation of the measures is proceeding according to plan and that yearly savings of 1.06 billion kronor had been achieved by the end of March. Around 500 employees left the company in the first quarter.