SAS plans to launch service from Atlanta

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) is set to venture into a new major U.S. market with the launch of flights between Copenhagen Airport (CPH) in Denmark and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). This move highlights the significant changes taking place at the airline.

Beginning this summer, SAS will operate daily flights between the two cities throughout the summer months. This new route to Atlanta marks a significant milestone for the carrier, as it will bring the total number of North American airports served by SAS to nine, with eight of them located in the United States.

This expansion comes at a crucial time for SAS, as the airline recently underwent bankruptcy proceedings. To aid its recovery, Air France and KLM acquired a stake in the carrier last year. As part of its restructuring plans, SAS intends to shift from the Star Alliance, which it co-founded, to the SkyTeam alliance. This alliance shift will allow SAS to deepen its partnerships with not only Air France and KLM but also other SkyTeam carriers, including Delta Air Lines.

The announcement of the new route to Atlanta is significant, as it coincides with an interline agreement between SAS and Delta. This agreement will enable SAS passengers to book itineraries with seamless connections to Delta flights. This partnership will provide greater convenience for travelers and expand the network of destinations accessible to SAS passengers, including those in the Southern USA, Caribbean, and Latin America.

The Copenhagen-Atlanta route will commence operations on June 17, with daily nonstop flights between the two cities. SAS will utilize an Airbus A330 aircraft, which can accommodate a total of 266 passengers, for the summer frequencies. During the winter months, SAS will operate five weekly round trips using an Airbus A350, which has a seating capacity of 300 passengers.

In addition to the Atlanta route, SAS is also making changes to its other routes. The airline plans to increase frequencies between Copenhagen and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), offering up to two daily round trips. SAS already operates flights to the New York area, serving Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN), and Oslo Airport (OSL).

Furthermore, SAS intends to shift from six weekly frequencies to daily service between Copenhagen and Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) during the summer months. These adjustments demonstrate SAS’ commitment to expanding its presence in key markets and improving connectivity for its passengers.

Currently, SAS operates flights to eight U.S. airports and one in Canada. The airline’s U.S. route map includes destinations such as Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. However, SAS will discontinue its service to Miami International Airport (MIA) in early April.

The addition of the Atlanta route represents SAS’ entry into Delta’s top hub city and its first venture into SkyTeam territory. While it is not a full-scale codeshare agreement like Delta has with its existing SkyTeam partners, the interline agreement will provide passengers with greater flexibility and access to a wider range of destinations.

The timing of SAS’ transition to the SkyTeam alliance is still under discussion with both the Star Alliance and SkyTeam. However, this move is expected to strengthen SAS’ position in the market and enhance its offerings for passengers.

In conclusion, Scandinavian Airlines’ launch of the Copenhagen-Atlanta route signifies a new chapter for the carrier. Despite recent bankruptcy proceedings, SAS is forging ahead with its expansion plans and strategic partnerships. The addition of Atlanta to its route network, along with increased frequencies on other routes, demonstrates SAS’ commitment to providing enhanced connectivity and a broader range of destinations for its passengers.

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