Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has announced two new transatlantic routes that will launch in 2023. This comes just shortly after the airline announced plans to launch a Copenhagen to New York JFK flight in early 2023.
SAS adds transatlantic flights from Aalborg & Gothenburg
Historically SAS has exclusively operated transatlantic flights from Copenhagen, Oslo, and Stockholm, though that will be changing next year. As of April 2023, SAS will add new transatlantic seasonal service from both Aalborg and Gothenburg to Newark.
As of April 27, 2023, SAS will fly 3x weekly from Aalborg (AAL) to Newark (EWR), with the following schedule:
SK921 Aalborg to Newark departing 6:35PM arriving 9:05PM
SK922 Newark to Aalborg departing 11:30PM arriving 1:05PM (+1 day)
The 3,720-mile flight is blocked at 8hr30min westbound and 7hr35min eastbound. The service will operate to Newark on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and to Aalborg on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
As of April 28, 2023, SAS will fly 3x weekly from Gothenburg (GOT) to Newark (EWR), with the following schedule:
SK917 Gothenburg to Newark departing 6:30PM arriving 9:05PM
SK918 Newark to Gothenburg departing 11:30PM arriving 1:15PM (+1 day)
The 3,772-mile flight is blocked at 8hr35min westbound and 7hr45min eastbound. The service will operate to Newark on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and to Gothenburg on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Here’s how Erik Westman, SAS’ EVP & CCO of Network and Revenue Management, describes these new routes:
“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 will use an Airbus A321LR for these routes
Scandinavian Airlines will be using an Airbus A321LR for both of these routes. This aircraft is the newest addition to SAS’ long haul fleet, and the airline has a total of three of these planes, with no further jets on order.
The A321LR is the ideal plane for “thin” transatlantic routes, where there’s some demand, but not quite enough for a wide body. SAS’ A321LRs feature a total of 157 seats, including:
- 22 fully flat business class seats, in a staggered 2-2 and 1-1 configuration
- 12 premium economy seats, in a 2-2 configuration
- 123 economy seats, in a 3-3 configuration
SAS’ A321LRs feature high speed Wi-Fi, and personal televisions and power outlets at each seat.
These kinds of routes are the perfect example of the niche that aircraft like the A321LR can serve:
- These will be the only transatlantic routes for both Aalborg and Gothenburg
- Aalborg otherwise only has short haul service, entirely within Europe
- Gothenburg also only otherwise currently has short haul service, though the airport gets a lot more traffic; Qatar Airways used to fly to Gothenburg, though that route isn’t operating at the moment
I think my one concern here is that SAS’ A321LRs are in a really premium heavy configuration. Is there enough premium demand to make this service work, especially for summer seasonal, leisure routes?
In the summer of 2023, Scandinavian Airlines will be launching two cool new transatlantic routes from airports that don’t otherwise offer long haul service. Specifically, the airline will seasonally operate 3x weekly flights from both Aalborg and Gothenburg to Newark using Airbus A321LRs.
It’s cool to see this kind of expansion, since this is what planes like the A321LR were designed for. I’m curious to see these routes perform, and if they stick around in the long run.
What do you make of SAS’ new long haul routes to Newark? Do you think they’ll succeed?