Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) is upping its winter schedule from Scandinavia to the U.S. as it bets on an increase in demand following the lifting of U.S. travel restrictions for European visitors on November 8. SAS will soon offer up to 50 weekly flights from Scandinavia to U.S. airports.
It’s an unusual step as traffic is usually lower during the winter months. But with SAS struggling for cash, the airline will be hoping European travelers see the ability to travel long-haul across the Atlantic for the first time in more than 18 months an attractive option.
“It is very gratifying that we can increase the number of flights and offer our customers the chance to finally be able to travel again and experience the other side of the Atlantic, and meet with friends and family, said SAS chief commercial officer Karl Sandlund.
The move comes just a few weeks after new CEO Anko van der Werff said the airline is “fighting to survive” amid a backdrop of mounting debts, falling business demand and union battles.
An ambitious winter schedule for SAS
Newark remains the principal SAS hub, with service increasing from Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm later in November. Copenhagen will offer daily flights, with up to five weekly departures from Stockholm.
Flights from three Scandinavian capitals to Miami have already resumed, with the frequency varying from one to four weekly flights. This means there will be a flight between Scandinavia and Miami almost every day throughout the winter season.
Other departures from Copenhagen include daily flights to Chicago, up to seven weekly flights to Los Angeles, and up to five weekly flights to San Francisco and Washington Dulles. From Stockholm, SAS also promises regular flights to Chicago.
American travel to Scandinavia
The new services will also be attractive to U.S. residents looking to visit friends and family in Scandinavia. At the time of writing, both Denmark and Sweden allow fully-vaccinated Americans to enter, but border restrictions remain in Norway.
This is reflected in the relatively low frequency of flights to/from Oslo compared with Copenhagen and Stockholm. SAS flights from Oslo to Newark are scheduled just twice-weekly, while the flight from Oslo to Miami is limited to just one per week.