Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) is continuing to expand its long-haul offering, with a number of new US routes set to launch next year, and an increase in the number of departures on existing long-haul routes.
The flag carrier for Scandinavia is opening three new routes to the USA including Los Angeles from Stockholm, and Miami from both Oslo and Copenhagen.
Los Angeles was initially served by the airline until 1994, where it offered a daily Boeing 767 operation, though the airline will now introduce the route between Stockholm and the Southern Californian city from March 14, 2016 with an Airbus A330-300 and A340-300 on alternating days until May 6, 2016.
The A330-300 will then operate the route on a daily basis from May 7, 2016, departing Stockholm Arlanda at 09:50am, arriving into LAX at 12:15pm. The return journey will depart LA at 14:15pm, arriving back into the Swedish capital at 10:00am the following day.
Services to Miami will offer Scandinavian travellers convenient links to the Caribbean and Latin America. The first flights to Miami are expected to lift off in autumn 2016, offering a daily departure from Scandinavia.
It will be Miami’s first direct service to both Norway and Denmark, and is a success for Miami International Airport, after it put a particular focus on expanding its global reach in recent years, welcoming several new international carriers.
“This is a big deal for us,” Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio González, told the Miami Herald. “It fills a gap that we wanted filled.”
The Copenhagen to Miami service will operate Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, departing the Danish capital at 09:30, and arriving into Miami at 13:50pm. The return journey will depart on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from Miami at 15:50pm, arriving into Copenhagen at 07:10am the following day.
Oslo to Miami on the other hand will operate on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, with return journeys operating on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from Miami, with similar flight times to the Copenhagen to Miami service.
“These new direct routes together with the renewal of our long haul fleet and our broad network mean we have far and away the strongest offer between Scandinavia and the USA. We are looking forward to offering our customers new travel opportunities and giving them a warm welcome onboard our aircraft,” says Rickard Gustafson, President and CEO of SAS.
The expansion will give SAS seven destinations in the US, with others including Chicago O’Hare, Houston, Newark Liberty, San Francisco and Washington Dulles.
Other long-haul destinations include Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo, and in September 2015, the airline will be opening a new route from Stockholm to Hong Kong.
The Star Alliance member is facing increasing competition from Scandinavian low-cost carrier, Norwegian which currently operates from Fort Lauderdale – less than 30 miles north of Miami International. The airline, which is currently the second largest in Scandinavia after SAS offers services to Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo from Fort Lauderdale, and also flies the same routes from Los Angeles.
Earlier this year, SAS announced additional departures from Oslo and Stockholm to New York and from Copenhagen to San Francisco, as well as from Stockholm to Chicago and Copenhagen to Shanghai.
The new long-haul routes and increased departures mean that the carrier will now offer over 330,000 more seats on its intercontinental routes in 2016.