Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has begun catering to business travelers within the oil industry with a new, non-stop flight between Norway’s oil capital of Stavanger and Houston. The flight is exclusively business class, and ticket prices are definitely not in the low-fare category.
Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported that flights began on Wednesday using a specially designed Boeing 737 aircraft with only 44 seats on board. The flight is configured with two spacious flat-bed seats on each side of the aircraft’s single aisle, and there’s plenty of leg room. The aircraft has been leased from Privatair for three years and SAS’ commercial director Eivind Roald is confident the route will be profitable for SAS.
The new flight also aims to win back passengers from KLM, which Roald says has “been aggressive” in western Norway in recent years. KLM offers flights from Stavanger to Amsterdam with non-stop service on to Houston on a Boeing 747. British Airways and Lufthansa also offer non-stop flights to Houston via London and Frankfurt respectively. If the new non-stop flight straight from Stavanger with no connections necessary is successful for SAS, the airline may launch other all-business-class flights on new non-stop intercontinental routes.
DN reported that prices for a round-trip ticket from Stavanger to Houston began at NOK 22,818 in mid-October. That’s less than some standard business-class fares but considerably more than economy class. SAS believes there’s a market for more non-stop and comfortable flights. Privatair crews were ready with plenty of amenities from exclusive champagne to gourmet meals on board. SAS estimates that around 70,000 passengers fly between Scandinavia and Houston every year, with two thirds of them based in Norway.