Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Recession hits SAS transatlantic flights hard

(Source: Aftenposten.n0, April 16th 2009) The current recession has hit the international air traffic. Fewer are flying, both in business or for pleasure. This is particularly the case for the once so lucrative trans-atlantic flights. As demands are sinking, air carriers either sell tickets at bargain prices or cancel future flights. The last air carrier to feel the effect of the current crisis is Scandinavian Airlines.

Scandinavian Airlines will axe 85 non-stop flights with 14 200 seats from Copenhagen and Stockholm to New York, Washington DC, and Chicago, this summer season. From July 31st the airline will stop its non-stop service from Copenhagen to Seattle.

The airline will cancel the following flights:
  • May 2009 - 28 flights
  • June 2009 - 11 flights
  • July 2009 - 14 flights
  • August 2009 - 8 flights
Fewer bookings and increased competition

The airline has canceled departures where the booking has been low. Fewer travelers that cross the herring pond is only one part of the explanation for the airline's troubles.

The other is the increasing competition across the Atlantic. Icelandair operates a highly attractive service from Scandivaia to cities in the US, at low prices and shorter flying time. Other airlines are also planning new non-stop services, as US Airways new non-stop service from Philadelphia to Oslo being launched May 21st.

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