From April 8 Scandinavia's SAS will no longer serve Shanghai. Its current three non-stop flights will be replaced by an indirect code-share operation using Air China via Beijing.
The surprise decision to drop Shanghai, perhaps China's most dynamic city, was taken says SAS to suit an increasing number of passengers who prefer to arrive at the city's domestic Hongqiao airport (12 km from downtown and where Air China's flights from Beijing arrive), rather than less convenient Pudong (30 km away) where SAS' international flights touch down.
One advantage of the new arrangement is that SAS can now serve Shanghai six times a week via Beijing, albeit with a longer journey time.
But Stockholm is set to benefit as SAS is deciding to expand its Asian network from the Swedish capital (traditionally SAS has operated Asian flights from its main hub at Copenhagen).
SAS will launch a new four times a week Airbus A340-300 linking Stockholm with Beijing next month. Starting March 25 flight SK993 will leave the Swedish capital at 2230 to reach Beijing at 1255 returning as SK994 at 1445 to arrive in Stockholm at 1810. Good connections are available in Stockholm to and from other European cities.
Another new route from Stockholm, this time to Bangkok, will be launched at the end of October. It will be operated by an Airbus A340-300.
Flight SK975 will depart Stockholm at 2030 arriving in Bangkok at 1250 the next day with the return SK976 departing at 1440 to reach Stockholm at 2005 the same day. There are connection possibilities from other European airports for the outward service. The return flight from Bangkok may necessitate an overnight stop at Stockholm but this needn't be an inconvenience seeing as there is a Radisson SAS hotel within the terminal at Stockholm's Arlanda airport.
For more information go to flysas.com.
Report by Alex McWhirter