SAS to Switch Gothenburg - London Link to Stansted Airport

The route switch follows agreements earlier this year for SAS to dispose of two of its slot pairs at the heavily constrained Heathrow Airport for a combined positive earnings impact of $82 million. The first slot pair was sold to an unidentified carrier for $60 million, while the second was sold to Star Alliance partner, Turkish Airlines for $22 million.

The new winter programme of SAS Scandinavian Airlines will see the carrier switch its Gothenburg – London route from Heathrow to Stansted Airport, although the introduction of larger aircraft on existing routes from Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo to London Heathrow will see its capacity between Scandinavia and the UK capital rise by over 50,000 seats.

The route switch follows agreements earlier this year for SAS to dispose of two of its slot pairs at the heavily constrained Heathrow Airport for a combined positive earnings impact of $82 million. The first slot pair was sold to an unidentified carrier for $60 million, while the second was sold to Star Alliance partner, Turkish Airlines for $22 million.

The afternoon slot-pair sold to Turkish Airlines will transfer to its new owner at the beginning of the winter traffic program on October 25, 2015. At the same time, SAS has confirmed from October 26, 2015 it will return to serving London’s Stansted Airport, the capital’s third busiest airport after a 14 year absence, by switching its Gothenburg service from Heathrow. It will operate on a 12 times weekly basis using a Boeing 737-600.

“We’re delighted to offer flights from London Stansted, adding an eighth UK airport to our schedule for 2016. With our new route between London Stansted and Gothenburg, in addition to the introduction of larger aircraft on existing routes to Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo from London Heathrow, SAS is increasing capacity to Scandinavia from London by over 50,000 seats for 2016,”said Hans Dyhrfort, regional general manager Western Europe, SAS.

Following the closure of these slot deals, SAS now holds 19 daily slots at London Heathrow which it currently uses to offer non-stop flights to Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Oslo, Stockholm and Stavanger. Despite reducing its slot capacity by 4.8 per cent, SAS will continue to offer a strong and comprehensive network between Scandinavia and London Heathrow.

The London route switch is just part of a notable growth of the SAS network for winter 2015/2016 which will it introduce several all-new routes, continuing a number of its most popular summer destinations and increasing the number of departures on other routes, including its long-haul link between Copenhagen and San Francisco, which will be served on a daily basis.

“Thanks to big demand for SAS flights to the USA, we can now make our customers even happier by offering daily flights to San Francisco from Copenhagen this winter. With 106 weekly departures to and from five destinations in the USA and our all new cabins, that have been given a tremendous reception by passengers, SAS has the most powerful offering between Scandinavia and the USA,” said Eivind Roald, vice president sales and marketing, SAS.

The new schedule from late October 2015 will add more than half a million additional seats to the SAS network and will include a new four times weekly route between Oslo and the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius from October 29, 2015; a link between Bergen and the Polish capital, Warsaw over Christmas and New Year (four return departures between December 18, 2015 and January 6, 2016); and between Stockholm and Munich during the winter ski season (three times weekly from February 5, 2016 to March 25, 2016).

In addition to these new flights, several summer routes will be continued over the winter. This includes Stockholm to Budapest, Malta and Faro and from Copenhagen to Barcelona. This will mean that over the Christmas and New Year period, SAS will offer the largest ever schedule of seats from Scandinavia to Southern Europe.

“At SAS we are continuously looking to improve what we offer our customers. Last winter we saw a big interest in our holiday destinations. As such, we are delighted to be able to offer even more winter destinations next season and at the same time, increase the number of departures on popular routes,” said Roald.

In addition to the holiday routes, SAS is also increasing the number of departures on key routes for business travellers. Flights from Copenhagen and Stockholm to Manchester are being increased by a daily departure. SAS will be offering a better afternoon timetable from Oslo to Bergen and up to 18 daily departures.

Capacity will also be boosted between Stockholm and Las Palmas, Thessaloniki, Prague and Nice, while summer routes from Stockholm to Malaga, Palma de Mallorca and Alicante will now become year round routes. The number of departures from Oslo to Las Palmas, Nice, Malaga and Alicante will also be increased, while from Copenhagen the number of departures to Manchester, Palma de Mallorca, Las Palmas, Rome, Nice, Salzburg, Prague and Budapest will grow.