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SAS Scandinavian Airlines ended the busy summer July quarter with its first profit since Q4 FY19, reporting a SEK 461 million net profit for Q3. This is a clear sign that the airline is on the right track to recovery, said President and CEO Anko van der Werff on September 1. “But one swallow doesn’t make a summer.” He stressed that much work needs to be done after SAS exits US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection before the year’s end and receives regulatory approval in 2024. SAS remains cautious despite its first profit since 2019.

SAS carried almost seven million passengers between May and July, which is its third quarter of FY23. This is the highest number since the pandemic and is up by 36.8 percent year on year thanks to increased capacity as thirty new routes were launched. At 85 percent, capacity was up 36 percent year on year but still below 2019 levels. One should remember that last year’s Q3 was affected by the pilot strike in July 2022 which cost the airline SEK 1.351 billion. But this Q3 was affected by ATC capacity issues at its Copenhagen hub, strikes, challenging weather, and other operating problems that had a severe impact on operations and on-time performance.

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