CPH's routes in focus: Kiev, Delhi and Hong Kong

As part of Copenhagen Airport's Route Exchange membership, Routesonline takes a look at three significant routes to have been launched from Denmark's capital in recent years.

Route 1: Copenhagen - Kiev

Served by

Wizz Air, Ukraine International Airlines


1,318 km

O&D traffic demand (2018)


Growth % YOY


Average one-way fare $ (2018)



After a four-year absence of scheduled flights, Ukraine returned to Copenhagen Airport’s network in August 2017 when Wizz Air opened a three-weekly route on board an Airbus A320 aircraft to Kiev Zhulyany (IEV).

Eight months later in April 2018 the low-cost carrier added an extra weekly frequency and - during the same month - Ukraine International Airlines launched its own service between Copenhagen and Kiev Boryspil (KBP). Initially operating ten times per week using Boeing 737-800 aircraft, Ukraine’s flag carrier now operates the route daily.

In total there are 11 weekly frequencies linking Copenhagen and Kiev and 3,938 available two-way seats, OAG Schedules Analyser data shows.

O&D traffic demand between Copenhagen and Kiev topped 103,000 passengers in 2018, according to Sabre Market Intelligence, a rise of 156.2 percent compared with the previous 12 months. About 89 percent of passengers flew non-stop, with Riga the top connecting airport for those travellers flying indirectly. 

The figure in 2018 was also 382 percent higher than in 2016 when 27,154 passengers travelled between the two cities, all of them on indirect flights. The sharp rise in traffic shows the impact of the new non-stop routes, which have been popular with leisure and business travellers alike.

In addition, VFR traffic has been a significant factor. Official figures provided by Statistics Denmark, a Danish governmental organisation, reveal that the number of Ukrainians living in Denmark has more than doubled over the past decade, rising by 115 percent to 14,029 in the third quarter of 2019.                                                                                                                     

Route 2: Copenhagen - Delhi

Served by

Air India


5,839 km

O&D traffic demand (2018)


Growth % YOY


Average one-way fare $ (2018)



Air India began operating flights to Copenhagen in September 2017, with the Danish capital becoming the carrier’s 44th international destination and 11th point in Europe.

Initially operating three times per week on board Boeing 787-8 aircraft, the airline added a fourth weekly rotation between from Copenhagen to Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport in summer 2018. It now offers a total of 2,048 two-way weekly seats on the 5,839km route.

The launch came eight years after Copenhagen’s last non-stop link to India departed, when SAS Scandinavian Airlines ended its Delhi service. Since the connection resumed, figures from Sabre Market Intelligence show that O&D traffic demand has grown strongly.

A total of 143,664 passengers travelled between Copenhagen and India in 2018, compared with 105,548 in 2016. Year-on-year growth between 2017 and 2018 was also a healthy 18.5 percent. However, only 32 percent of passengers flew non-stop, with Dubai, Doha and Frankfurt the main connecting points.

In addition, the figures from 2018 show that 34 percent of traffic from Copenhagen to Delhi was local, while 43 percent of passengers flew to a destination beyond Delhi. The top three locations for passengers travelling beyond Delhi were Bangkok, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

The latest data provided by Statistics Denmark shows about 11,470 Indian citizens live in Denmark, up from 8,108 three years ago.

Route 3: Copenhagen - Hong Kong

Served by



8,650 km

O&D traffic demand (2018)


Growth % YOY


Average one-way fare $ (2018)



Scandinavian carrier SAS moved its Hong Kong service from Stockholm to Copenhagen in October 2018, explaining that the move provided “better long-term opportunities” and, thanks to a new slot, it would be able to offer “more attractive timetable” that would allow for night flights.

The launch of the year-round route, which operates five times per week using Airbus A340-300 aircraft, meant that the Danish city maintained its link to Hong Kong following the end of Cathay Pacific’s seasonal service during the same month.

SAS opened Stockholm - Hong Kong in September 2015, becoming its only route to Asia from Sweden’s capital. However, data from Sabre Market Intelligence shows that at the time, Stockholm - Hong Kong had a smaller O&D pool than Copenhagen - Hong Kong. The O&D traffic in 2014 between Copenhagen and Hong Kong was 39,719 passengers, 28 percent higher than Stockholm.

Since then, Stockholm - Hong Kong O&D traffic grew to 97,866 passengers in 2017, while Copenhagen - Hong Kong rose to 57,532 despite the absence of direct service during the year. In 2018 Copenhagen - Hong Kong O&D traffic increased by a further 22 percent to 70,059 passengers.

SAS now operates routes to four points in Asia from Copenhagen. In addition to Hong Kong, it flies daily to Beijing Capital, Shanghai Pudong and Tokyo Narita.

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