Wednesday, 4 March 2020

SAS suspends Hong Kong flights

As an effect of the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak and global measures taken to mitigate the spread of the virus, the demand for international air travel has been affected.  Many airlines around the globe at cutting flights, reducing schedules or otherwise altering their timetables.

SAS Scandinavian Airlines is no different, over the next couple of months it will reduce part of its short-haul schedule and in addition to the already suspended flights to/from Mainland China, the airline will also axe flights to Hong Kong from this Thursday, 5th March.

In order to mitigate the revenue impact from the reduced demand, SAS is pursuing a number of cost reduction initiatives. In the short term, reduced capacity will lower flight-related costs, such as jet fuel, airport and other fees. SAS is also implementing other measures such as cuts in administration and personnel expenses, implementation of hiring freeze, and postponement of non-critical projects, marketing and promotional campaigns. Measures related to personnel expenses may include temporary layoffs, voluntary leave, early retirement or other initiatives.

Given the uncertainty surrounding the outbreak and its impact on the overall demand for air travel, the airline has withdrawn is financial predictions for the year as it is too early to assess the full impact on SAS operations and financial outcome. 

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