Troubled Scandinavian Airlines operator SAS AB is now smaller than a bus company.
Its market value has dropped to just 5.09 billion kronor ($546 million), after its shares slumped almost 40 percent so far this year. That means that Nobina AB, the Nordic region’s largest public-transport service provider, is now bigger, with a market capitalization of 5.11 billion kronor.
SAS has had a tough year, with challenges such as a competitive market, increasing jet fuel prices and a weak Swedish krona exacerbated by a pilot strike grounded some 4,000 flights. It will be a challenge to make a profit before taxes this year, SAS has said.
To make matters worse, SAS is also grappling with so-called flying shame. The phenomena, in which Swedes shun airplanes that guzzle fossil fuels in favor of more climate friendly alternatives or abstain from travelling altogether, is seemingly having a real impact on travel patterns.
Swedavia AB, which operates 10 domestic airports including the ones outside Stockholm and Gothenburg, has seen year-on-year passenger numbers drop for nine consecutive months, driven mainly by a decline in domestic travel. While there are many factors behind the drop, including a weak krona and the recent pilot strike, part of the slump can be explained by flying shame. At the same time, passenger numbers at state train operator SJ have jumped to a record.
Nobina has some 100 contracts with public transport authorities in four countries. It has a fleet of about 3,600 buses, transporting some 300 million passengers a year. With a decline of about 3% so far this year, its shares have underperformed the 19% rise in the Stockholm All-Share Index. But it has by far outperformed SAS, which is down 36%.
©2019 Bloomberg L.P.