Not many stars for local airlines

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Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) was once known as “Airline of the Year” among business travelers, but its star has fallen after years of cutbacks and now it’s ranked at the same level as low-fare rival Norwegian Air. A “star system” for international airlines left both with just three each.

That put them in the same company as Icelandair, US carriers United and American Airlines, Pakistan International and KLM, among others ranked in terms of comfort by consulting firm Skytrax. They were ranked higher, though, than Ryanair, Air Malawi and Iceland Express which were among those with just two stars, reports newspaper Aftenposten.

The only five-star airline with service to Norway was Qatar Airways, which started flights to and from Oslo last year. Other airlines winning five stars were Asiana Airlines of South Korea, Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific, Hainan Airlines of China, Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines.

Several of the four-star airlines serve Norwegian airports, or at least Oslo: Thai Airways, Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways, Finnair, Turkish Airlines, Austrian Airlines and Swiss.

A spokesman for Norwegian Air said Norwegian may gain another star when it introduces its new fleet of aircraft including the new long-distance Boeing 787 next year. A spokesman for SAS said the airline felt it deserved to be included among the four-star carriers, not least because of its on-time record and because its “Economy Extra” service has been ranked in another listing as the world’s best for what passengers receive in exchange for what they pay.

Views and News staff