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SAS looking for more long-haul routes

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Chief executive interviewed in Copenhagen
SAS must have new long-haul routes, the airline’s chief executive suggested in an interview with Stand By. But Rickard Gustafson made no comment about an expected imminent sale of Cimber to a foreign operator.
“SAS has recently opened new long-haul routes to Boston, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and the end of this month comes a new daily route from Oslo and Copenhagen to Miami. Unlike Norwegian, SAS flies almost daily on its long-haul routes.”
The comments were made in an exclusive interview on Saturday at the SAS lounge at Copenhagen Airport on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the start of the airline’s operations.
“SAS is looking at new routes to North America and Northeast Asia. It is no criticism of Finnair, but they are very dependent on passengers from the rest of Europe for their many routes to Asia. SAS has almost enough travellers from Scandinavia, but 10-15% of them on our long-haul routes come from other parts of Europe,” Gustafson said.
SAS has just received four new Airbus A330 Enhanced aircraft, bringing its long-haul fleet to 16 aircraft. From 2018, comes eight new Airbus A350s, to be delivered by 2022.
Gustafson added that SAS is on the way to better Wi-Fi on its planes in Europe: “SAS has previously tried to get Wi-Fi in Europe, but the quality was not as good as today.”
He also said that the airline is better economically, but it is still not good enough.
“There is future space for SAS, flying frequently to and from Scandinavia,” he said. “SAS sees greatest growth in leisure travellers. The number of business travellers is stable but more are using web meetings and video conferences.”
But the CEO had “no comment” on media reports that SAS would sell its Danish subsidiary Cimber to Irish regional carrier CityJet. According to Stand By, negotiations have been ongoing on the issue for three months.
Stand By

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