While Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) remains mostly grounded by a major labour conflict, its biggest rival is teaming up with another domestic carrier in Norway to offer new combined routes. Norwegian Air and Widerøe claim, however, that their looming cooperation has nothing to do with the pilots’ strike at SAS.
“This process started long before that,” Stein Nilsen, chief executive of Widerøe, told news bureau NTB. Nilsen and Norwegian Air’s Geir Karlsen announced their new route cooperation this week.
It mostly involves Widerøe, a short-haul carrier serving small airports, serving as a feeder for Norwegian, with passengers in Northern Norway, for example, soon able to buy one ticket for a trip that begins with a Widerøe flight that feeds into a Norwegian flight, or vice versa. “The combination of Widerøe’s network along the coast and in Northern Norway, and Norwegian’s offer of flights around Europe wil create many new travel opportunities for our customers,” Nilsen said.
Widerøe already has similar agreements with other larger carriers including SAS. Passengers will still also be able to earn frequent flyer points on both carriers when the SAS strike finally ends.