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Monday, May 20, 2024

SAS reinstates New York route

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) finally has decided to reinstate a long-cancelled non-stop flight between Oslo and New York, and has been heavily promoting it this week in local media. SAS bosses clearly think they now can profit on the route, claiming they’re “more competitive” than ever.

SAS offered non-stop Oslo-New York (Newark) service for years, but dropped it amidst heavy losses after the terrorist attacks in 2001. Now SAS has recognized demand for the route, which eventually was taken over by Continental Airlines, which itself has now merged with SAS’ Star Alliance partner United. Former SAS boss Mats Jansson had admitted last summer that it was “a bit embarrassing” that SAS itself offered no intercontinental service direct from Norway.

SAS is promoting fares as low as NOK 3,495 (about USD 600) on the route, set to start up in late March, but seats at that promotional level will likely be hard to come by. SAS admits in its own advertising that they won’t be available on all flights.

In addition to Continental/United’s service, competition looms from both discount carrier Norwegian Air and a pending upstart, Feel Air, and that likely prompted SAS to assert itself as well. SAS also reports it’s considering launching new non-stop service from Oslo to Beijing and Bangkok, along with new non-stop routes within Europe, for example, to Split in Croatia and Palma in Spain.

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