By Ezra Gollan
SAS Expands Offerings Following Shaky Financial Rebound
Coming off of a near collapse just a few months ago, Scandinavian carrier SAS has announced expanded route offerings from secondary cities in both Sweden and Denmark to New York City for the summer season of 2023. The airline plans to serve Gothenburg, Sweden and Aalborg, Denmark on a thrice-weekly basis in a somewhat surprising expansion for an airline that is already facing numerous financial struggles.
The flights will depart on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays from Gothenburg and on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from Aalborg. The homebound flights from New York to Gothenburg will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, while the homebound flights from New York to Aalborg will operate on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The first flights will depart on Apr. 27, with the outbound flights from Gothenburg and Aalborg departing on that date and the homebound flights from New York departing on Apr. 28.
Untapped Demand From Secondary Cities
The flights will depart from New York’s Newark Liberty International Airport and will arrive at Aalborg Airport and Gothenburg Landvetter Airport, providing passengers with easy access to a wide variety of destinations throughout Scandinavia and Europe. Erik Westman, SAS’s EVP & CCO of Network and Revenue Management said in a press release, “As part of SAS’ strategy to strengthen the regional offering in Scandinavia, we are pleased to add intercontinental routes from Gothenburg and Aalborg. We see a demand from secondary cities and are delighted to connect even more parts of the world. The Airbus A321 Long Range is a slightly smaller long-distance aircraft and perfect in size for servicing the regional markets. Having a comfortable way of traveling with fewer stops to exciting cities such as New York, is something we believe will be highly valued by our travelers.” SAS is in an interesting position making a push to expand while also still battling severe financial woes. The announcement of the new routes could be likened to the industry-wide perception of the carrier as one that lacks an identity between being a low-cost airline and a full-service carrier offering all the amenities of the big legacies.
It can be argued that this has caused much of the airline’s troubles as there is often a visible lack of direction. Nonetheless, the carrier will add the Aalborg and Gothenburg routes to recent announcements by the airline to serve New York’s JFK Airport in early 2023 with its wide-body fleet from Copenhagen. The airline currently has a fleet of just 3 Airbus A321 LR aircraft and opting to deploy them on such interesting routes should inspire some confidence in the fact that there is demand in these markets.