SAS faces fierce competition as Finnair and Eurowings launch new routes from Stockholm, Sweden



Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) survived the pandemic but faces new competition in its home markets. Finnair and Eurowings have announced new routes from Stockholm, Sweden, which will support SAS long-haul and short-haul operations, respectively, while two new airlines are expected to do the same in Norway.

In his recent quarterly reportSAS said there had been a “gradual increase in demand” over the summer, but that it “will take years” for demand to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Finnair to Stockholm

Finnair is no stranger to Arlanda Airport in Stockholm, but the Finnish national carrier will now base three planes to operate five new long-haul routes. Given the list of destinations, the airline is clearly looking to capitalize on Norwegian Air’s departure from the long-haul market.

From October, Finnair will serve Bangkok, Miami and Phuket twice a week. In November, it adds a three-per-week service to Los Angeles, with a three-per-week service to New York starting just before Christmas.

Finnair is part of the Oneworld alliance alongside 13 other airlines, including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia.

Eurowings finally enters Scandinavia

Despite its Star Alliance partnership with SAS, German carrier Lufthansa has long sought a more solid footing in Scandinavia. From now on, its budgetary subsidiary Eurowings will open a base in Stockholm Arlanda.

Eurowings seems confident in success, choosing to base five A320s at the airport serving 12 original destinations. The routes target both business and leisure travel, many of which will be in direct competition with SAS. In particular, the 11 weekly Eurowings flights between Stockholm and Copenhagen are sure to shake up the market.

Eurowings will also operate a link to Birmingham (BHX), a link previously operated twice by SAS.

Besides Finnair and Eurowings, Ryanair has also established itself in Stockholm Arlanda, operating both international and domestic routes.

New competition in Norway

SAS is also facing new competition in another of its home markets, Norway. Start-up airline Flyr quickly established itself on domestic routes in Norway, but will now launch services from Oslo to popular international destinations such as Copenhagen and Malaga.

There will also be new competition in the long-haul market when Norse Atlantic Airways launches in 2022. It is expected to operate flights from Oslo to New York, Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles.


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