SAS is shifting its service to Los Angeles. Stockholm is out. Copenhagen is in. What prompted this change?
Effective January 13, 2019, SAS will launch year-around service between Copenhagen (CPH) and Los Angeles (LAX):
- SK931 Copenhagen – Los Angeles dep 9:35 AM arr 12:15 PM
- SK932 Los Angeles – Copenhagen dep 2:00 PM arr 10:10 AM+1
This new route will come at the expense of the current Stockholm route, which I reviewed here.
Karl Sandlund, the Executive Vice President of Commercial at SAS, said:
By opening a year-round route to Los Angeles from Copenhagen we are increasing availability and enabling growth. The timetable is attractive, and thanks to the economies of scale we can achieve in fully utilizing our fleet, we are in a position to provide a daily service from Copenhagen Airport.
Los Angeles is one of the most in-demand intercontinental routes from Copenhagen, and an important route for our leisure customers in particular, who are keen to visit the American West Coast. We continuously assess our offering in order to optimize our network for our travelers.
But what really prompted this change? If demand from Copenhagen is that big, why not add the flight instead of cancelling Stockholm service?
I’d agree with One Mile at a Time that there are three additional considerations at play.
First, Sweden imposes and aviation eco-tax while Denmark does not. That amounts to about $26 on a flight to North American when departing Sweden. For budget-concious travelers, $26 can make all the difference.
Second, Norwegian is in deep trouble and will suspend its nonstop service between Copenhagen and Los Angeles this winter. Citing year-around demand, SAS will not have a pesky competitor that effectively depresses economy and premium economy class fares.
Lastly, I do think there is something to the growing shame culture in Sweden surrounding flying. With flying no longer vogue, demand is depressed.
> Read More: SAS Worried As “Flying Shame” Grips Sweden
SAS’ game of musical chairs at Los Angeles is essentially a non-issue unless you are traveling to Stockholm or one of the few cities only accessible by Stockholm and not the other SAS hubs. Still, this news must be a blow to Stockholm, which will now only have nonstop service to Los Angeles on Norwegian.