SAS traffic down 14 percent in June

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Loss-making Scandinavian airline SAS said on Tuesday its passenger traffic fell at an annual rate of 14.1 percent in June as the global downturn kept customers firmly on the ground.

The airline said its yield in May — the most recent month for which data is available — was down 5.3 percent. It said the yield in June was expected to be negative in line with the change for May, which would put pressure on revenues in the second quarter.

SAS, which has made several attempts to whittle down its cost base in efforts to ride out the worldwide downturn, said on Monday its talks with trade unions had collapsed and that it would have to find other ways to reduce costs.

SAS said earlier in June its restructuring programme would cost much more this year than previously expected, and said on Tuesday that restructuring costs were expected to reach around SEK1 billion kronor (USD$127.7 million) in the second quarter.

SAS said its passenger load factor was unchanged from the same month the previous year.

Finnish national carrier Finnair on Tuesday reported an annual fall of 13.4 percent in passenger volume.

(Reuters)