**Update: 16/01/2020 @ 17:25 UTC. SAS provided Simple Flying with a comment on the new service. Please find its statement below.**
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has this week returned to Los Angeles with a new route flying out of Copenhagen. The airline had, up to this point, offered a Los Angeles service from Stockholm but it now believes that Copenhagen will better suit customer demand. With shifts in the region, it also looks as though this route will be very profitable.
Copenhagen – Los Angeles: the details
Back in September 2019, Scandinavian Airlines proudly announced details of its new route to Los Angeles. On 13th January 2020, the first flight took off from Copenhagen inaugurating the new route.
The service will be operating on the following timetable:
- Flight SK931 departing from Copenhagen Airport (CPH) at 09:35, arriving in Los Angeles (LAX) at 12:15.
- Flight SK932 departing from Los Angeles (LAX) at 14:00, arriving in Copenhagen Airport (CPH) at 10:10 + 1 day.
At the present time, the service will be offered six times a week on SAS’ Airbus A340-300 aircraft with a maximum seating capacity of 245 passengers. As SAS continues to introduce its A350-900 aircraft, with 300 seats, the route will profit from the use of this aircraft. Not only does this mean more tickets will be available, but this also gives SAS the ability to run a daily service on the route. The airline hopes that this will come into effect from 31st March 2020.
Altering a former route
Whilst SAS’ excitement about this new route is palpable, there will no doubt be a slight frustration on behalf of passengers. Passengers who booked the service to Los Angeles before the announcement was made in September but who will travel after it’s inaugurated, will be subject to an altered itinerary.
SAS says that it will rebook those passengers via Copenhagen. A suitable flight between Stockholm and Copenhagen will operate three times a day allowing passengers to connect with the departing Los Angeles flight at 09:35. It means passengers will require a slightly earlier start to their journey.
Another downfall of the new route it that passengers in Sweden will, unfortunately, no longer reap the benefit of direct flights to LAX. However, there will still be SAS transatlantic flights departing from Stockholm, like the service to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).
Despite these concerns, SAS has a good reason for transferring the departing city for LAX flights. In a press release, the airline said:
“Los Angeles is one of the most in-demand intercontinental routes from Copenhagen, and an important route for our leisure customers in particular, who are keen to visit the American West Coast…By opening a year-round route to Los Angeles from Copenhagen we are increasing availability and enabling growth. The timetable is attractive, and thanks to the economies of scale we can achieve in fully utilizing our fleet, we are in a position to provide a daily service from Copenhagen Airport.”
An attractive investment
Operating this route to and from Copenhagen certainly is an attractive investment. Particularly given the shift in interests in the region. Norwegian will cease its operations between Copenhagen and the United States by summer 2020 so that it can host all of these services in Oslo. That has opened up a very attractive market for SAS in which it can garner additional customers in the form of ex-Norwegian passengers. SAS is now able to work within a popular network sector with one less competitor.
That said, Norwegian will also be removing its services from Stockholm to the United States. Whilst SAS has said that Copenhagen is a more popular destination on this route, if the demand is there in Stockholm will it also reintroduce a route from Stockholm to Los Angeles? We asked the airline for its comment on this and it told us:
“We are part of a highly competitive market with a lot of competitors so in that light is does not make a great difference if one competitor has reduced the capacity. Also, the fact that Norwegian Airlines will no longer be flying routes to Los Angeles from Copenhagen or Stockholm has not had any influence on the decision to move the route from ARN to CPH.”
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!