Flying Norwegians set more records
July 8, 2011
Both Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and Norway’s gateway airport (Oslo Lufthavn Gardermoen, OSL) could report strong numbers this week, showing that the Norwegian public is flying more than ever before. For long-troubled SAS, the news was perhaps especially welcome.
SAS’ total passenger traffic rose 4.9 percent in June compared to June of last year. The increase included strong growth within the domestic market in Norway.
Load factors hit 80.6 percent, indicating that there weren’t many empty seats on SAS flights last month, either within Norway or on flights overseas.
International traffic rose 5.9 percent, reported news bureau NTB, with flights to and from the US especially full. The newly re-opened route between Oslo and Newark (New York) could boast a load factor of around 88 percent.
Meanwhile, Oslo’s main airport at Gardermoen also reported more strong growth, with more than 2 million passengers flying in and out in June. The 2,015,771 passengers recorded at OSL set a new record, and seemed to justify ambitious expansion plans for the airport that many view as still new, since it opened in 1998.
Last month was the first time OSL handled more than 2 million passengers, and it amounted to 150,000 more passengers than in June of last year. A daily record was set on Friday June 17, when a total of 83,219 passengers went through the airpot in the course of a day.
Total take-offs and landings in June amounted to 19,241, 116 more than in the same month last year. New airlines have continue to start service through OSL with Qatar Airways, for example, planning to start flying into Oslo this fall.
Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported on Friday that the boom in traffic at OSL has put extra pressure on those working at security checkpoints, but an OSL spokesman denied it was a problem. He claimed the airport had adequate staffing, and was prepared to handle summer congestion.
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