SAS to restart flights from Oslo to seven major European cities

The Scandinavian airline SAS is to restart flights between Oslo and the UK, Ireland, Germany, and Switzerland, in a bet that restrictions will be lifted on the countries next week.

SAS to restart flights from Oslo to seven major European cities
SAS is slowly rebuilding its routes. Photo: SAS
In a press release issued on Monday, the airline said it was restarting flights between Oslo and London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Dublin, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Zürich. 
“As demand and interest in air travel across Europe returns, SAS is resuming flights on routes to many destinations,” the airline wrote. “Restrictions are being relaxed on travel between Norway and England and elsewhere, and SAS is starting flights to London and Manchester.” 
The new routes will start operating from July 16th — the day after July 15th, when Norway has said it will lift travel restrictions on European countries with an “acceptable” level of infection. 
Although Norway's government only plans to publish its list of open countries on July 10th, SAS appears confident that the UK, Germany, Switzerland and Ireland will all be on the list.  
The airline said it would reopen more routes in Europe as demand returns. 
Here are the new routes, which will start from mid-July:
OSL-FRA: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from July 16th
OSL-DUS: Monday, Friday and Sunday from July 17th
OSL-ZRH: Saturday from 11 July, daily from July 16th
OSL-EDI: Thursday and Sunday from July 23rd
OSL-LHR: Daily from 15 July
OSL-MAN: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from July 16th
OSL-DUB: Wednesday and Sunday from July 15th
The airline is also launching flights between Stockholm and Ireland and Switzerland: 
ARN-DUB: Thursday and Sunday from July 16th
ARN-ZRH: Daily except Tuesdays and Saturdays from July 17th
It is launching a route between Copenhagen and Manchester: 
CPH-MAN: Monday and Friday from July 17th

It is also increasing the frequency of flights between London and Stockholm and Copenhagen: 
ARN-LHR: Increases from 7 to 10 departures a week from July 17th
CPH-LHR: Increases from 7 to 13 departures a week from July 17th

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SAS announces reduced loss and pins hopes on summer flights

Scandinavian airline SAS narrowed its losses in the second quarter, the company said Thursday, as it set its hopes on an easing of coronavirus restrictions this summer.

SAS announces reduced loss and pins hopes on summer flights
A SAS aircraft taking off in Paris. Photo: Charles Platiau/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The earnings report came a day after the governments of Sweden and Denmark announced another round of aid to the ailing carrier.

From February to April, SAS booked a net loss of 2.43 billion Swedish kronor ($292 million, 240 million euros) — 30 percent smaller than in the second quarter last year.

The company also reported an improved operating profit “for the first time since the pandemic’s outbreak, both year-on-year and compared with the previous quarter,” pointing to its cost cutting efforts.

However, the number of passengers in the period declined by 140,000 compared to the first quarter, to 857,000.

This caused revenue to fall to 1.93 billion kronor, a 15 percent drop from the preceding quarter and 63 percent from a year earlier.

“The increase in vaccination rates provides some hope for the relaxation of restrictions, and an increase in demand ahead of the important summer season,” chief executive Karl Sandlund said in a statement.

However, the CEO also noted that “many customers are now increasingly choosing to book their tickets much closer to their travel dates, which makes it difficult to predict demand during the summer.”

SAS also said it expected claims from passengers of up to 150 million kronor after a European court ruled in March that customers should be compensated over disruptions due to a pilots’ strike in 2019.

After cutting 5,000 jobs last year — representing 40 percent of its workforce — SAS announced Wednesday an additional credit line of three billion kronor from the Danish and Swedish governments, its main shareholders, to get through the crisis.

The airline received a similar loan and a capital increase last year.

READ ALSO: Virus-stricken airline SAS secures new public loan from Denmark and Sweden