Bergen Air Transport, the Norwegian airline, will launch the twice weekly service from Sumburgh Airport using a 12 seat Beechcraft King Air B200 aircraft.
The airline currently operates scheduled, charter and cargo flights from Bergen and the new link hopes to capitalise on established trade links between Shetland and Norway. Bergen, situated on the west coast of Norway is a major hub for oil and gas as well as marine industries including seafood and fish farming.
The scheduled service is also open to leisure passengers, with Monday and Thursday departures allowing for extended weekend breaks.
Rachel Hunter, Highland and Island’s Enterprise’s (HIE) Shetland Area Manager, said: “There are already strong ties between Shetland and Norway, especially in the oil & gas and aquaculture industries. Good transport links are essential to a successful and globally competitive region.”
The flight time between Sumburgh and Bergen is 70 minutes, and inbound flights will depart Bergen at 9am, arriving at Sumburgh at 9:10am (local time). Return flights will depart Sumburgh at 9:45am, arriving in Bergen at 11:55am (local time).
The new service is being supported by funding from the HIE, who along with Bergen Air Transport, consulted Shetland businesses and received a positive response regarding potential use of the service.
““These new weekday flights will allow much greater ease of travel, with businesses benefitting from reduced travel costs and improved productivity through reduced time spent travelling.””Rachel Hunter
Highland and Island’s Enterprise’s (HIE) Shetland Area Manager
Norway is a crucial trading partner with Scotland after figures showed that Norway generated the highest number of business travel and tourism trips in Norway, accounting for 31,000 trips in the first three quarters of 2013, with an average spend of £548 per trip.
Tom Roll, business development manager of Bergen Air Transport, said: “Since we introduced our plans earlier this year, we have had the pleasure of working closely with Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Airports, and we take this opportunity to acknowledge the support received.”
“Sumburgh is the fastest growing airport in Scotland and a well-established hub for the energy, aquaculture and fishing industries. By enhancing links between Scotland and Norway, we believe this new service will open up further trading opportunities between our two countries,” he added.