Scandinavian carrier SAS is shifting its Hong Kong service from Stockholm, Arlanda to Copenhagen, Kastrup starting October 28 this year as it looks to improve margins on its flights to the city.
The decision follows what SAS describes as “challenges when it comes to profitability on the Stockholm-Hong Kong route”. The opening up of a new airport slot at Copenhagen means the carrier will be able to offer night flights to and from Hong Kong – a “more attractive timetable”, according to the carrier – that SAS cannot currently offer out of Stockholm.
“We look forward to being able to offer our customers a better timetable with attractive night flights to and from Kastrup,” said Karl Sandlund, executive vice president of commercial at SAS.
“Obviously, it’s sad that we’re moving from Stockholm, but in this case, Copenhagen offers better long-term opportunities that will enable us to further improve the customer experience.”
As with the Stockholm-Hong Kong flights, the new Copenhagen-Hong Kong route will operate five days a week. Here are the schedules for both services.
Stockholm (ARN)-Hong Kong (HKG)
Until October 27, 2018
|SK963||Stockholm (ARN)||Hong Kong (HKG)||1500||0720+1||Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun|
|SK964||Hong Kong (HKG)||Stockholm (ARN)||0920||1440||Mon, Tue, Fri, Sat, Sun|
Copenhagen (CPH)-Hong Kong (HKG)
Starting October 28, 2018
|SK965||Copenhagen (CPH)||Hong Kong (HKG)||2055||1445+1||Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun|
|SK966||Hong Kong (HKG)||Copenhagen (CPH)||0120||0620||Tue, Fri, Sat, Sun|
The shift to Copenhagen obviously means travellers to and from Hong Kong will now have to contend with a new set of connections, though Sandlund reiterated that Copenhagen also offers good connectivity throughout Europe.
“SAS has a strong presence at all the major Scandinavian airports. It is important for us to review all our routes on a continuous basis in order to be able to maximise the benefits for both passengers and our profitability,” said Sandlund.
Tickets for the new route go on sale today. Passengers already booked on flights between Stockholm and Hong Kong beyond October 28 will be rebooked via Copenhagen.
With the new route, SAS will have to contend with Hong Kong’s flagship airline, Cathay Pacific, which in May this year began flying its own seasonal service to Copenhagen.
Meanwhile as of today, rival Scandinavian carrier and Oneworld alliance member Finnair has enhanced its connectivity through Hong Kong via a codeshare with Cathay Dragon that has added four new destinations to the airline’s network.
Business Traveller recently Finnair’s business class offering from Hong Kong to Helsinki, which is flown by its Airbus A350-900 aircraft.