SAS To Launch New Scandinavian Mountain Service From London Heathrow

Scandinavian carrier SAS has announced a number of new routes, including one from London Heathrow, to the soon-to-be-opened new airport in the Scandinavian Mountains. The Sälen/Trysil airport, which is scheduled to open in December, was recently given the IATA designation of SCR. SAS will fly once a week from London, operated by an Airbus A320neo.

SAS Airbus A320neo
SAS is launching a weekly service from London to the ski resorts of Scandinavia. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

The new SAS flights.

Over the winter season, SAS will operate direct flights from London to the new airport in Sälen/Trysil (SCR). Services will also begin from Aalborg and Copenhagen to the Scandinavian Mountains, a move which they say will bring people closer to Scandinavia’s winter sports area. Karl Sandlund, Executive Vice President Commercial at SAS commented in a media release,

“We are delighted that SAS that is able to offer the first international flights to the new airport. Short journey times, attractive timetables, combined with fantastic opportunities for skiing and other winter activities in the Swedish and Norwegian mountains are what a lot of people are looking for. We are going to continue to develop our collaboration with SkiStar in order to improve the services we can offer our passengers and make it a whole lot easier to enjoy the Scandinavian winter experience.”

SkiStar is a Swedish winter sports specialist who arranges everything from ski lessons to accommodation and more. The company is also a part-owner of the new Sälen/Trysil airport.

The service will be operated by the A320neo. Photo: SAS

The flights from London (LHR) will operate once per week on Saturdays, starting on December 28th. The services from Aalborg (AAL) are on Sundays, starting the following day on December 29th. The Copenhagen (CPH) route will be twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays commencing 29th December.

SAS say that the routes will be served by their Airbus A320neo aircraft. The services are earmarked to continue throughout the winter season, up until Easter 2020.

Sälen/Trysil Airport

Also known as the Scandinavian Mountains Airport, Sälen/Trysil was recently given the IATA designation SCR. It is located in Dalarna, Sweden, just seven kilometers away from the border with Norway. It is not yet open, but is very close to completion, with the opening scheduled for December 22nd.

SCR overview
SCR will open in December. Photo: Scandinavian Mountains Airport

When open, the airport will be a 4E airport, capable of handling aircraft of up to 65m wingspan. The single runway will be 2,500m long, and four parking positions for commercial aircraft. As it will operate through the worst of the winter weather, it’s been installed with a CAT III instrument landing system, making it the third such airport in Sweden to have this standard, after Stockholm and Gothenburg.

SAS To Launch New Scandinavian Mountain Service From London Heathrow
Sälen Trysil is located close to many ski slopes in Norway and Sweden. Photo: Scandinavian Mountains Airport

The location of the airport is strategically placed close to four resorts with around 250 ski slopes in Norway and Sweden. Although snow lovers would more readily associate the French and Swiss alps with a ski holiday, the northerly location and mountainous terrain of Scandinavia will surely make for some incredible slopes.

Aside from SAS, BRA Braathens Regional Airlines is planning to be one of the first to begin service to the new Sälen/Trysil airport. Services to Angleholm, Gothenburg, Malmo, Stockholm and Vaxjo are all scheduled to begin in December and January this winter.

No air traffic control tower?

Interestingly, SCR is the first airport in the world to be built without an air traffic control tower. Instead, it will use a remote or ‘virtual’ tower, based hundreds of kilometers away at Sundsvall Timrå Airport.

Right now, the airspace around the airport is G-class, meaning it’s uncontrolled. Despite technically being in Sweden, it’s so close to Norway that cross border management is vital. Taking this into account as well as the typical weather conditions at the site, a remote control tower (RCT) was chosen as the safest, easiest and most cost-effective option.

SAS will be one of the first airlines to fly the to the new airport. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

In place of an actual control tower, the airport will instead have a camera tower feeding the RTC with all the information it needs to look after arriving and departing aircraft. The system has proven itself to be effective even in heavy snowfall, and will significantly reduce the airport’s operating costs, particularly when taking into account the seasonality of services.

Will you be trying out SAS’s new service to the Scandinavian Mountains? Let us know all about it!