In a statement issued Tuesday, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) announced it would be increasing its schedule gradually throughout July, including transatlantic flights. In order to do so, it is un-grounding an additional ten planes, bringing the total of active aircraft up to 40.
Just under 30% compared to 2019
With the easing of travel restrictions across Europe, passenger demand is beginning to pick back up in its northern reaches. Thrice Scandinavian flag-carrier SAS is increasing its schedule from all of its three hubs in July, and bringing an additional ten aircraft out of storage to join in the effort.
The welcome addition means that next month SAS will be operating 40 aircraft, which is an increase from the 30 the airline has in service today. This represents just under 30% of the aircraft the carrier was operating at the same time last year.
The Star Alliance member previously increased its aircraft from 15 to 30 as it began gradually resuming flights in June, adding international routes from Stockholm and Copenhagen.
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Adding transatlantic routes from CPH
SAS will increase services from all of its three Scandinavian capital hubs. Several destinations will be added from Copenhagen, including transatlantic services to New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. International flights will resume from Oslo, for destinations in Spain and Croatia, as well as to Rejkyavik.
However, the airline highlighted that even though there is an increase in routes and departures, this does not mean that it is back to business as usual.
“As restrictions and inbound travel rules are relaxed, we are seeing a rise in demand for travel. However, it remains just as important that travellers keep themselves informed of the rules that apply to each country and destination at all times, and that people stay at home if they are experiencing any symptoms,” Freja Annamatz, Head of Media Relations at SAS said in a statement seen by Simple Flying.
The statement also included a reminder on face mask policies. Masks are required from boarding to disembarkation on all SAS flights. The airline requires passengers to bring their own masks, and the requirement is in place until at least August 31st. Children under six years of age are exempt from the rule.
Accelerating all-Airbus transition
It is thus far unclear which types of aircraft will be reactivated. The airline, which just yesterday received the much-welcome news that the Swedish government is prepared to offer a capital injection to help see it through the crisis, has previously signaled a shift towards an all-Airbus fleet.
Due to COVID-19, those plans may be sped up. An acceleration of the retirement of older Boeing 737s would also go a long way in meeting the environmental requirements the government is attaching to the new bailout.
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