SAS Adds Copenhagen – Shanghai Connection

SAS Scandinavian Airlines will expand its intercontinental route network from March 1, 2012 by reintroducing a five times weekly non-stop service between Copenhagen and Shanghai.  SAS will use an Airbus A340-300 on the route, offering a capacity of 245 seats in three cabins: 46 in Business, 28 in Economy Extra (Premium Economy) and 171 in Economy.  The flights have been timed to maximise connections at Copenhagen from Scandinavia and northern Europe and at Shanghai to cities in China and throughout Asia with SAS partners Air China and Shanghai Airlines, which are both fellow members of the Star Alliance.

“Traffic demand to China is again growing significantly, and we see the need for an additional route, complementing our successful Copenhagen-Beijing service,” said Robin Kamark, Chief Commercial officer, SAS.  “This new service also offers a multitude of smooth transfers on both ends, making it an accessible and quick route for many European and Asian travelers.”

MARKET ANALYSIS: SAS SCANDINAVIAN AIRLINES COPENHAGEN - ASIA (bi-directional O&D traffic)

Rank

Destination

Estimated Passengers

Market Share

1

Beijing

72,360

43.2 %

2

Tokyo

52,223

31.2 %

3

Bangkok

16,485

9.8 %

(wider Asian Market)

26,358

16.0 %

TOTAL

167,426

-


Shanghai will be the fourth destination in Asia for SAS, with services already operating non-stop from Copenhagen to Beijing, Bangkok and Tokyo.  As the table above shows, in the past year the carrier handled an estimated 141,000 O&D passengers on these routes, although a further 26,000 passengers were transported to the wider Asian market, suggesting there is a respectable amount of onward demand.  Around 5,000 of these began or ended their journeys in Shanghai.

Around 152,000 O&D passengers travelled between Denmark and China in the past year with a further 223,000 travelling from other parts of Scandinavia.  Alongside SAS, its Star Alliance partner Air China offers a daily link between Beijing and Stockholm Arlanda.

Interestingly around 35,000 passengers currently fly between Copenhagen and Shanghai; SAS holds just a 14.5 per cent share of this traffic, with the majority of the leakage (23.1 per cent) via Helsinki and the flights of Finnair.  The arrival of Emirates Airline at Copenhagen from August 1 will likely impact these figures further with passengers connecting via its expanding network from Dubai International Airport.

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